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VOL. I. 






















BOOK I. — Pencilling, second Tint, and Beauty. r A< >■ 

I.— Of Handling the Pencil - 1 

II.— Of Painting after the Life ------- J 

III. — ( )f Dead-Colouring, and how to perform it with Certainty and Expedition 5 

IV. — Of the Second Colouring, and its Requisites - - -6 

V.— Of Retouching, or Finishing - ------- ib. 

VI. — Of the Second Tint, and the Relief it occasions - - - - 7 

VII. — Of Beauty, and the Proportions of the Members in the Human Body - J I 
VIII.— Of the Motion of the Members ------ 16 

IX — Of Passionate and Violent Motions - - - - - IS 

X. — Of the different Colouring of the Naked, in a Child, Man, and Woman ; in 
Health, Sickness, and after Death - - - - - -21 

XI. — Of the Colours, and their Uses, with respect to both the Sexes - 23 

XII. —Of agreeable and beautiful Colouring - - - - -25 

BOOK II. — Of Okdonnance, or Composition. 
I. — Of the Qualities necessary to the first Idea, or Sketch - - 27 

II. — Of Composition ... -----28 

111 — Of the Ordonnance of Histories - - - - - - 29 

IV. — Of the Uses of line Prints, Academy Figures, and Models - - 31 

V. — Of Probability ; and what is Painter-like in a Composition of few or many 

F.gures ---------- 33 

VI.— Of the Difference between Youth and Age, in both Sexes - - - 38 

VII. — Of the Property and Choice in the Motion of the Members, in order to ex- 
press the Passions -------- 41 

VIII. — Of the issue, or result of Thoughts, touching Histories - - 46 

IX. — Remarks on some Mistakes in Historical Compositions - - 51 

X. — Of Richness and Probability in History - - - - -36 

XI. — Of the Ordonnance of Hieroglyphic Figures - - - - 61 

XII. — Of the Order, or Succession of the Motions proceeding from the Passions 64 
XIII.— Of Use and Abuse in Painting ------ 70 

XIV. — Of particular Inclination for one Branch, whether Figures, Landscapes, 

Buildings, Seas, Flowers -..----72 

XV. — Of the four Sorts of Pictures, or Compositions ; what they are - - 76 

XVI. — Of the Uses of Ovid's Metamorphosis ; and what is further necessary to 

the sketching and executing a Composition, or Picture - - 80 

XVII. — Of Rules for the Management of small Figures in a large Compass; and 

the contrary ---------85 

XVIII. — Of the Composition of Histories, Portraits, Still-Life, &c. in a small 

Compass - ...----87 

XIX.— Of the Division of History ------ 90 

XX. — Of the Observables in a Frontispiece-Plate - - - - 93 

XXI. — Necessary Observations in continuing a History in several Pictures, for 

Halls, Galleries, &c. - 103 

BOOK III. — Of Things Antique and Modern. 

I. — The Difference between what is Antique and Modern - - - 10S 

II. — Method for representing what is City-like, or elegant Modern - - 113 
III.— The Nature of City-like Subjects ; which daily afford plentiful Materials for 
a Modern Painter - - - - - - - -118 

IV. — Continuation of the same ------- 123 

V.— Of Dresses 127 

BOOK IV.— Of Colouring. 

I. — Of the Colours, and the ordering them ----- 133 

II. — Of the Property, Nature, and Colours of Dresses - 140 

III. — Of the Colours of Dresses, and their suiting with each other - - 143 

IV. — Of the Disposition of shady Objects, either distant or near, against a light 

Ground 147 

, V.— Of the Harmony of Colours 150 

ir CONTENTS.— Vol. I. 


CHAP. VI. — Of the Disposition of Irregular Objects, and Light against Darkness; and 

the contrary --------- 153 

CHAP. VII. — Of Agrreableness in Irregular and Contrasting Objects - 157 

CHAP. VIII. — Of strong Objects against faint Grounds, and the contrary ; or, Darkness 

against Light, and Light against Darkness ----- 159 

CHAP. IX.— Of the painting Objects dustily ----- 161 

BOOK V. — Of Lights and Shades. ' 

CHAP. I.— Of the different Lights of a Picture - - - - - 163 

CHAP. II.— Of the Condition of the Air or Sky - - - - - - 166 

CHAP. III.— Reflections in the Water 170 

CHAP. IV. — Of Ground-shades according to the Difference of Light - 173 

CHAP. V.— Of Reflections in General - - - - - - - 174 

CHAP. VI. — That Sun-shine has no more Force than common Light with respect to Shades 177 

CHAP. VII.— Of the Ground Shades in Sun-shine - - - - - 181 

CHAP. VIII. — How Sun-shine is to be represented in a Picture having a common Light 185 
CHAP. IX. — That the Shades of Objects in Sun-shine are not more Glowing than in com- 
mon Light --------- 187 

CHAP. X. — Of the Difference of Ground-shades, proceeding either from the Sun or Ra- 
dial Point - - ------- 189 

CHAP. XI. — Of the Representation of different Lights in the same Picture - - 191 

CHAP. XII. — Curious Observations on Sun-shine ----- 193 

CHAP. X11I.— Of the Sun's three Qualities 194 

CHAP. XIV.— Of the Nature of the Sun, with respect to different Countries - - 197 
CHAP. XV.— Of the Sun's Light upon Objects at rising and setting - - - 199 
CHAP. XVI.— Of the Application of Sunshine and other Lights " 200 
CHAP. XVII. — Of the Properties of the Sun and other Lights in their essential Repre- 
sentations; and of the chief Times of the Day - 203 
CHAP. XVIII.— Of the Moon and her Representation ' ... 206 
CHAP. XIX.— Of the Effects of Artificial Lights, as of a Torch, Lamp, Candle, or Fire 209 
CHAP. XX. — Necessary Hints in the Use of Perspective .... 213 

CHAP. XXL— Of the different Colouring in great and small Pieces - - - 216 

CHAP. XXII. — Of the Difference of Force in large and small Painting; and the Effects 

of magnifying and diminishing Glasses ----- 217 

CHAP. XXIII. — An Inquiry into the Difference between a large Landscape ornamented 
with small Figures, and a small one with large, with respect to the Air ; the 

Dav being supposed clear in both ------ 221 

CHAP. XXIV.— Of the Lights within Doors - -. * - - - 225 

CHAP. XXV. — Of the Application of Lights to the different Species of Histories ; with 

a Table or Ordonnance of all the Lights - 227 

BOOK VI.— Of Landscapes. 

CHAP. I— Of Landscapes in general - 230 

CHAP. II — Of the Light, Form, and grouping of Objects in Landscape - - 235 

CHAP. III.— Of the By-ornaments in Landscapes - - - - - 236 

CHAP. IV. — Of immoveable Ornaments ; Tombs, Houses, &c. - 239 

CHAP. V.— Of beautiful Colouring in Landscapes ----- 241 

CHAP. -VI.— Of the leafing of Trees .---*--- 213 

CHAP. VII. — Of the placing and following of Landscapes - 244 

CHAP. VIII— Of the Lights in a Landscape - - - - - - 246 

CHAP. IX. — Of Landscapes in a small Compass ----- 249 

CHAP. X.— Of painting Rooms with Landscape ------ 252 

CHAP. XL— Of ornamental Painting without-doors ----- 255 

CHAP. XII. — Pictures or Compositions of Venus and Adonis, for the Embellishment of 

Landscapes --------- 260 

CHAP XIII. — The Fable of Dryope, for the Embellishment of Landscapes - - 272 
CHAP. XIV. — Table of Ordonnance of Erisichton ; and the Emblem of a Satyr's Pu- 
nishment : both serving for the Embellishment of Landscapes - - 280 
CHAP. XV.— Of the Word (Painter like) - - - - - - 285 

CHAP. XVI. -Of Painter-like Beauty in the open Air - - - - 287 

CHAP. XVII.— Of Things deformed and broken, falsely called Painter-like - - 292 

Flcue I. 

£. Je ^atre/je iwr. 

J~. £tmntAa?n Jcufo 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. . 9 

(her lighter or darker, without using any red, yellow, or black in it, as they pre- 
tend. Moreover, we know the vast difference between a foreright face, and a fore- 
shortened one; that the one on the near side grows larger than the other ; as the 
faces in plate I. plainly show: which, by observing or neglecting, gives the painting 
either great elegance or indecorum. 

The greatest difficulty some Painters meet with, is, that one of the qualities of a 
good picture lies in a broad light ; this they imagine to consist in a. flatness, reason- 
ing thus : If it be truth that a picture, with such lights, is best, more round ones 
must needs be worse. A very loose argument certainly ! Since nature and daily 
experience of round objects teach us the contrary, especially when it is not sun- 
shiny weather. 

I have said before, that the contour or out-line ought to unite in the tints of 
the. ground, that, going off from the more enlightened parts, it may not appear to so 
much as the others : To illustrate which, we exhibit here in plate I. aforesaid, a 
round pillar A. against a ground, half light, half shade; so that the light side of the 
pillar is set off by the shade of the ground, and the shade of the pillar by the light 
side of the ground. Now, it must needs follow, in order to obtain the relief, 
that the shade of the pillar ought to be made lighter on the extremity, that it 
may round off towards the light ground ; otherwise it would be but a semi- 
circle. On the opposite side it is the same, except that the light does preserve 
itself, and its own colour; because the air, which interposes, causes the out-line 
to recede and fall back ; and in the shade the same, with this difference only, that 
there it is doubled by the lightness of the back-ground, partaking more or less of its 

If this be not well apprehended, let the next example explain it: Place a glo- 
bular body against a light yellow ground, as in the said plate; then, viewing it at 
some distance, you will perceive the out-line on the shaded side, tenderly to melt 
into the ground, without any hardness. This relates to the roundness only. 

Now let us observe how much the colour partakes of it. If this ball be of a 
blue colour, the extremities will be greenish against the yellow ; if the ball be vio- 
let, they become purplish ; and if the ball be yellow, as well as the ground, they 
will be more yellow in the shade, as we have already taught in treating of the naked. 
The superficial roughness or smoothness of the ball causes little alteration, except 
with respect to its nearness to, or distance from, the ground. 

Looking now on the light side of this ball, we shall find, that if the ball be 

lighter than the yellow ground, the colour of the ground cannot have so much 

force on it; since the superficial colour of the ball cannot be overcome by a lesser 

colour than it, and therefore the yellow ground cannot add to its colour; whence it 

vol. i. r 

10 Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

happens, that the mere interposition of the air causes the relief, or the outline to 
round and go off. 

Again, were the ground darkish or black, yet, t!ie diminishing of the colour, 
caused by the interposition of the air, will be neither (ess nor more, but will be more 
or less set off by the ground ; and seem less round. 

Artists err in thinking, that the half tint, which is laid next to the extremity on 
the light side, and called mezzo-tint, is the same with that placed between light 
and shade, under the name of middle tint ; for this last is a whole tint, and the 
other but a half tint, and not so broad as the mezzo-tint, which more than half 
mixes with the shade, and consequently is bluer ; although some give it upon the 
edge of the light side another colour, more like shade than the colour of the object. 
The mistake of which we have already shewn. 

But when the light is fronting (or comes directly from before) then this mezzo-tint 
is half mixed with the middle tint. Let me not here be misunderstood ; for I speak 
not of the side-light, which painters generally use. 

From all which premises it is plain, that this tint, though called mezzo-tint, or 
broken tint, cannot be considered as shade, since it partakes of the light. 

Again, it happens frequently, that, in the same piece of painting, some objects 
are rounder or darker upon the extremities than others : which ought to be so, 
when, by means of the obliquity of the point of sight, we can discover more than 
the semi-diameter of roundness in some, and but a semi-diameter or less, in others; 
as in the two pillars in the plate aforesaid : for if the point of sight be in the middle 
of the piece, and the light fall in it obliquely from the right side, then the objects 
on the right side will have a broader shade, and those on the left a broader light; 
as these two pillars plainly evidence. 

But if now on each side of these two pillars, were some other pillars placed 
alike distant from the point of sight, and both cut from top to bottom through their 
centres, parallel with the horizon, it is certain, that, at the proper distance, we shal| 
see, not only the inward splitting, but also some part of the hindermost half, as in 
pillar A. Now observe (as the pillar to the left shews) that the part which is seen 
beyond the half on the light side, rounds off so much the farther, and conseqtu u!y 
becomes darker than where the main light rounds oft'; on the contrary, viewing the 
light side of the ride-hand pillar, you see as much less of the foremost diameter, or 
half, as more of that on the shaded side; wherefore the outline canuot round off" 
so far on its light side, nor the extremity be so dark, as on the other pillar, where 
more than the half is visible. 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beaut)/. 11 



Beauty being the most valuable part of painting, it must, therefore, be the first 
and chief object of our work; but my design is not to mention all that can be said 
of its power and influence, since daily occurrences furnish us with sufficient ex- 

The wisest of the ancients venerated it, as we see in Plato, who defines it to be, 
a hinn.ii! brightness of a lovely nature, having poiver to attract the mind, by the help of 
the eyes. Nay', Cain valued it so highly, that he publicly said, it tvere as great a sin 
to hurt it, as to rob a temple. 

Nevertheless it must be confessed, that it lies most in an idea conceived in our 
senses a id j M ; whence it is impossible to think, that it should centre in any 

one single o j . tb most we can say then is this, that there are as many beauties 
as different objects : the prbi erb' says well, — So many minds, so many beauties. Paris 
imagined, according to Homer, that Helena, wife to Menelaus, was the handsomest 
woman. Apol o boasted the same of his Daphne. Narcissus, on the contrary, 
thought nobody handsomer than himself. Stralonica, amongst the Persians, was 
account* d the greatest beauty, and her statue worshipped. The neck and breast 
of the Athenian Theodota were so amiable in Socrates 's eyes, that he fell in love 
with her. Many more instances mighi be given ; but seeing its standard is no where 
fixed in order to know it certainly, we can only observe, that each country, each 
lover, thinks it has th greatest. The Grecians think the brown complexion the 
most agreeable; the Latins, the fair; Spaniards think black hair, and the Germans, 
brown hair, the most pleasing : this, loves tall and well-set people; that, esteems 
slenderness ; this, a modest carriage ; that, a wonton one. From all which premises 
it is plain, beauty depends most on Imagination. 

Beauty is three-fold. 1. Common; 2. Uncommon. 3. Perfect. 
The Common, depends much on the fashion, and satisfies common sense. 
The Uncommon, is singled out by our judgments from amongst many others. And, 
The Perfect is that, as we have said, which subsists in the imagination. 
But we must nevertheless fix on some standard, or model, for beauty; which 
therefore we have drawn, to the best of our skill, out of the many patterns left us 
by the Greeks. 

The beauty of a nudity in either sex, consists herein. 

c 2 


Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

1. The members must be well shaped. 

2. They must have a fine, free, and easy motion. 

3. A sound and fresh colour. 

1. The members must he perfectly joined, in a manner best befitting their natures 
and qualities ; the head and face duly proportionate ; and the eyes, nose, and 
mouth to have their exact symmetry ; the hands, fingers, feet and toes, and other 
parts of the body, to be of an agreeable length and thickness. 

2. By easy motion we mean, that all the members, from the greatest to the least, 
exert themselves most beautifully, and without pains, performing their action in a 
graceful manner ; as we shall illustrate by examples. 

3. By colour, we understand, such an one as is visible in perfect healthy persons, 
not subject to impairs, and not inclining too much to redness or paleness ; as we 
shall shew in its place. 

These are the three qualities requisite to a beautiful naked, and named by the 
poets the three Graces; affirming, that they were all to be found in Venus Urania. 

Now, in order to instruct the artist fully in the beautiful division of the members, 
I shall here subjoin the measure, as I took it from a man's skeleton, when for Pro- 
fessor Birloo, physician to the Kiug of Great Britain, I, according to his instruc- 
tions, drew the figures for his famous book of anatomy. 

For ease in this measure, I have placed by it in plates II. III. IV. V. a perpen- 
dicular line, marked with Sol and JLuna, which is the length of the figure; aud is 
divided into four equal parts, called rough parts, marked A B C D, for the quar- 
terly division of the figures from the head to the arm-pits, privities, knees, and soles 
of the feet. This line is divided again into seven equal parts and a half, called 
Head-parts, and numbered, 1, 2, 3, 4, -5, 0, 7, i : The first of which is for the head; 
which is again subdivided into four other equal parts, marked abed, for the fore- 
head, eyes, nose, and chin : And, by these last divisions, we shall ascertain the 
several parts of the figure ; ascending from the mark Luna to Sol. According to 
which the length will be 



From the sole D, to the ancle joint 


To B, the middle of the body 


Thence to the inward calf of the 


? %i 







bottom of the knee 


pit of the stomach 






upper part of the knee 


To the^ 



To the 



pit of the neck 












.crown of the head 




Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beai/ti/. 
The breadth o/ a man in profile. 




r foot is long 


At the navel 






calf of the leg 


\ pit of the stomach 



under part of the knee 
upper part of the knee 



j slioulder 




I pit of the neck 

end of the buttocks 


vhead is square. 

. privy member 



The breadth of the 

same figure 

from before and behind. 

("foot next to the outward ancle 


f top of the knee 
The -J thigh 

^end of the buttocks 


[ foot-joint 



J inward calf of the leg 

1 z 


The < outward calf 

! bottom of the knee 


At the privy member 



The navel 




Teh in 


Lpit of the stomach 




At the arm-pits 


The <eyes 


rp, C shoulders 

I pit of the neck 





^beginning of the hair 





gth of a 


From the sole D, to the joint 


""pit of the stomach 


Thence to the inward calf of the 





f outward calf 



under part of the knee 

pit of the neck 



upper part of the knee 



To the- 



To the 











beginning of the hair 




.crown of the head 




The breadth 

o/ a woman in profile. 

f foot is long 


At the navel 




The* hi P 

1 . 1 pit of the stomach 


calf of the leg 




The - 

under part of the knee 


Over the arm-pit 


upper part of the knee 


The < pit of the neck 
(die head is square. 





end of the buttocks 





'foot on the outward ancle 




inward calf of the leg 


outward calf 


e - 

under part of the knee 


upper part of the knee 




end of the buttocks 





e navel 


14 Of Penciling, Second Tint, etnd Beauty, 

The breadth of this figure from before and behind, 

Tl $ m P 4| 

I pit of the stomach 5| 

Over the arm-pits 7| 

f shoulders 6^ 

The< pit of the neck 5| 

(_chin l| 

Under the nose S§ 

Over the eyes 3^ 

rp, V forehead 3j 

(beginning of the hair 3£ 

And now I question not, but any one, who governs his figures by these propor- 
tions, will find his advantage in it ; especially if he observes the gracefulness of the 

For instruction in the second part of beauty, the graceful motion of the members, 
let the Tyro consult the figures in plate VI. in which he will find the principal dig- 
position for beautiful action, consisting in raising and sinking the shoulders and hips, 
and their contrasting motions ; as also those of the lesser members in the same pos. 
ture ; from whence arises not only the grace of beautiful figures, but also advan- 
tageous shades ; which give the last touches to grace. 

This instruction is of so universal importance, that it ought to be observed as 
well in dead as living nature ; in passionate, as meek men; raging, as quiet; sorrow- 
ful, as joyful; those in pains or dying, as in a dead bodj r : nay, it is impossible that 
any particular motion or posture of the body can be good, which is not naturally 
expressed, and conducted by the three following qualities. 1. A fine outline. 2. A 
free sway in the motion. Lastly, a beautiful colouring: for, to colour a living 
figure as a dead one, or the contrary, a raging one pale; a quiet one hot; or a 
mourning one in a merry air, would be egregiously against the truth ; and all lies 
being hateful, must be unworthy of painting. 

If I seem unintelligible in saying, that fine action and colouring ought to be ob- 
served in a dead body, void of both, it must be known, that I speak of a painted 
dead body, not a natural one ; because this latter has neither the power of motion 
nor disposition : however, when required, we must dispose the model of our dead 
figure in such a manner as looks most beautiful ; the face in front, the breast sway- 
ing sideways, one hip rising, one leg close, the other flung out; one arm flung this 
■way, the other that way, and so forth : this is called a fine action and the whole, 
a beautiful figure. 

As for the colouring, it must not be like wood or stone, bwt Jleshy, as wc 
it in nature. 


,. Je .;...••■. ■ ■,■ tnt/ 


Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 15 

If any object, that, because there are three principal stages of life ; youth, middle, 
age, and old age, each having its particular action, colouring, and proportions, it is 
difficult to chuse perfect beauty out of any of them ; I answer, that all three ought 
to be represented alike beautiful, according to their natures; the young, tender, gay, 
and fresh ; the middle aged, sedate and fleshy ; and the aged, slow-motioned and 
decayed : for, notwithstanding age, each of the three has his commendable quali- 
ties — that is a handsome youth — there is a comely man — mind the gravity of (hat 
old man — and so forth. But I pray consult Perric's statues, and carefully mind the 
youth of Ganimedes ; let Antinous, or Apollo, represent the second stage of life ; 
and the old Fazmus, the third ; and you will thereby see, that each of those figures 
is, in his character, perfectly beautiful ; to which, add their fine colouring, agreeable 
to their years ; all of which confirm my assertion, and the figure must be beautiful. 

Although now a beautiful figure consists in a good proportion and disposition 
of its parts, with respect to action and passion, yet it cannot be said to be absolutely 
perfect, till further improved by beautiful lights; for we often see, that too faint 
lights render objects disagreeable, and produce an effect contrary to our intention ; 
which makes us uneasy, because our first purposes are spoiled, and we know not 
the reason of it. But so it will happen, when, without minding the effect of our ob- 
jects, we chuse an improper light ; as a violent passion in a feeble light, which looses 
at once its effect and motion ; contrarily, a tender and pleasant object may, by too 
strong and broad a light, and shades loo sharp, be quite broken, and its grace 

Hence it is of the highest moment to consider thoroughly, before we begin our 
work, the nature and effects of the subject we intend to handle: ay, whether it be 
the murther of Julius Caesar in full senate; or the death of Colo; or the nuptials of 
Slrulonica with Antiochus ; or the reception of the queen of Sheba, with her retinue 
of ladies, by Solomon, &c. Because different passions are to be introduced in t 
different subjects : in the former, we must suppose great hurry and consternation, 
fright and confusion, nay, all is in motion : in the latter, nothing is seen but tender 
beauty, easy carriage, graceful modesty, and authority. 

And now who will not agree with me, that the two former subjects ought to be 
iged with strong and sharp lights; and the two latter with soft and more tender 
ones ? This effect lies also in the very natures and qualities of lights themselves ; 
some producing strength and sharpness ; others sweetness, softness, and pleasure : But, 
a contrary management renders things false and contradictory ; because then our two 
former examples may be called a graceful confusion, and the two latter, a severe 
loveliness. Wherefore I conclude, that a figure well proportioned and disposed, 
having a. graceful motion and sway, and a light agreeable to its outline and motion, 
may be called a perfect figure. 

16 Of "Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty, 



Xjet ns proceed now to the second of the parts wherein beauty consists, namelyv 
the motion of the members. 

This depends chiefly on a contrasting or opposition of all the members of the body 
and on their lights and shades ; which give a figure apparent motion and life : and this 
is chiefly obtained by a winding or siuay ; as when the face is fronting - , the body must 
turn a little sideways, and the legs again fronting. See fig. A. plate VII. 

A second observation is, to contrast in inclining the poise of the body, from head to 
foot: For instance, if one shoulder rise, the other must sink; the hips, knees, and 
feet, the same as in the same fig. A. Wherein 1. the right shoulder rises. 2. The 
right hip falls. 3. The right knee or foot rising again : and the contrary on the op- 
posite side of the body. 

A third observation is, that when the right arm and left leg advance, the left arm 
and right leg fall back. 

13ut this motion doubles, when the right shoulder is seen fronting ; for then the head 
and under part of the body must be the same, as the same figure shews. Wheat 
the breast rises, the head ought to sink, and the contrary. See fig B. 

The head should always incline to the upper shoulder, as in fig. A. In an erect 
posture, the feet must make a rectangle ; for example, the heel of the one with the 
inward ancle of the other, as in fig. C. 

Hands must always have a contrasting motion ; if one be seen inwardly, the other 
ought to be outward ; if one hangs down, the other should be raised up. The 
under part of the arm being foreshortened, the upper part should be seen direct. If 
the thigh be foreshortened, the leg should be direct, as in fig. D. 

The motion of the legs is almost like that of the arms, comparing the upper part 
of the arm with the thigh, and the under part with the leg: if the upper part of (he 
arm sink, the thigh must rise and constrast it. When the right arm is raised, and 
the left depressed, then the knees or feet must be contrary. If the hip swell, the 
upper part of the body sinks into the under part. If the shoulders heave, the neck 
sinks into them. 

Here take especial care, that the hand and arm be not on a line, but that each 
contrast the other in an opposing turn, as we see in the good and bad examples, fig. E. 

The cross line of the face is never parallel with that of the body, either fronting 
or in profile: nor the upper part of the body with the lower. 

Plate Vff. 

■ ./' / v'/5v tnr 

J. Qirvv~uno»' 

Plate X. 

c. ckX a * r ¥f j3 ~ " rtr " 

■I. < trrvvtifut* 

P/ate K. 


,7//l'// £ ' J««^ 

/ &rtvitnam 


'.' ./,' J^u/v/ji 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Rcai/ti/. 17 

In these motions consist, in ray opinion, the beauty of the body, wifli respect to 

As for other motions, these three are the principal : 

1. That of the head. 2. That of the hands a?id feet. Lastly, That of the body. 

Those of the head are fourfold ; forward, backward, and on each side. ThB&e of 
the hands and feet are the same. 

The arms and legs have but one motion; to wit, one on the elbow, the other on the 
knee ; the arm bending, and the leg drawing back. 

The motions of the body are threefold; foreright, and on both sides. 

Besides these, there are yet four other sorts of motions proceeding from the same 
members; the simple, the active, the passive, and the violent. 

1. The simple is, when the members move natural///; as in walking, one foot is set 
before the other; in drinking or eating, the hands are lifted up to the mouth; tlit- 
head turns, and the other members are made subservient to the present action ; and 
to which children, as w r ell as aged persons, naturally incline. 

2. The active consists in carrying, pulling, thrusting, pushing, climbing, and the 
like ; which is done by knowledge and judgment. This is only in part proper to 
children. See plate VIII. 

3. The passive arises from agitations of the mind, or what the soul shews by the 
body in the passions; as love, hatred, anger, sorrow, joy, spite, scorn, and such like. 

The effect of these, though mostly inward, yet is seen externally ; chiefly in the 
small members, as the eyes, nose, mouth, fingers, aud toes. See plate IX. 

4. The violent proceeding from fright, fear, despair, rage, ice. or any thing that 
is unusual and sudden, and that disturbs nature, either by hearing or seeing ; such 
as a sudden thunder, spectre, or terrific sight : these cause a shrinking, stretching, 
and winding of the members ; to both which, young and old are subject. See 
plate X. 

But all these passions together cannot produce a perfect figure, without the as- 
sistance of the members; because we can go up stairs with hands in pockets; or 
lift a weight with both hands, and yet the legs may be close ; a person can be 
affrighted by something standing or laying before him, without shewing it in the 
face ; w r e can also be in love, and it shall not appear in our motion. But my principal 
intention is, to express these passions by the motion of the members; and to shetv how 
each member contributes towards them : as when the body turns or winds, the members 
stir, one advancing, another falling back ; one raised, others sinking. 

But since it is very rare to see all these motions and passions, as happening very 
seldom and unawares : and since no model can be so set as to give them, I did, 
for certainty, stand for them all; expressing every one, even to the lesser members, 

VOL. I. d 

18 Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

eyes, mouth, nose, fingers, and toes ; and these were rapidly, and dextrously, as 
you see, designed by my son. 



VY e ought to observe in the first place, that the greatest part of these motions 
are but in part to be apprehended, and mostly by representing the cause of their 
motion by the relation which they have to each other, whether in their beginnings or 
conclusions : for the end of one oftentimes begins another, as anger is a step to mad- 
ness, sorrow to melancholy, and this produces despair or folly. This is the effect 
of most of the violent troubles of the mind, and pains of the body ; for this smart 
stirs the members violently, the muscles swell, the sinews, nerves, &c. stretch out 
of measure, nay, sometimes beyond their power ; as for instance, in burning, wound- 
ing, and the like : which pains, though they produce particular contractions in the 
face and other members, yet they would not be plainly known, or distinguished, if 
something of their causes did not at the same time appear ; as Pyramus stabbed 
with a sword ; Eurydice and Hisperia bit by a snake ; Procris killed with a javelin; 
and the centaur Nessus shot with an arrow ; Hippolytus wounded by the overturning 
of his chariot; and more such. By whom we must, as before hinted, represent 
something of the cause ; as by Pyramus, either the viel of Thisbe, or the naked 
sword ; and by Eurydice, the snake, living or dead ; by Procris, the weapon gored 
with blood : and thus of any others. Moreover, we ought to shew the wound, and how 
it happened; two circumstances equally necessary. The same is also to be observed 
in Nessus, who is shot from behind ; Eurydice and Hisperia bit in the heel ; Achilles 
wounded in the same part : all which circumstances a skilful master ought to dispose 
properly. But, lest these hints be not plain enough, I shall make them so, in the 
following description representing, 

The Death of Hisperia. 

Hisperia, daughter of the river Scbrcnus, being pursued by JEsacus, son of Pria- 
mus, is bit in the heel by a snake ; of which wound she dies. 

This young and beautiful maid is in the middle, lying on the Grass, and surround- 
ed by some nymphs, who mourn her misfortune. Her father, standing dispirited 
against a piece of stone-work, and weeping for her death, is attended by some other 
river-gods, who endeavour to comfort him, but in vain. 

Her garment is airy and thin, and her breast open ; her gold coloured head-dress 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. \g 

coming- loose over her shoulders ; her vesture turned up, which discovers her thigh 
stained with blood. A boy, lying near, points at the poisoned wound, and at the 
same time pushes away a nymph, coming by with a short stick in her hand, shews to 
the former the fore-ground where the snake lies killed by some boys with sticks and 
stones. These boys, in lively action, beat the snake with sticks and thorn-bushes ; 
one of them tramples on its neck, which makes it gape; another affrighted by it, 
seems to run away ; at which a third is laughing. 

A wood is on the right side of the picture. In the middle, on the third ground, 
are seen some rising willows and other trees of the watry kind ; behind which runs 
a river cross the view, flowing on the left side forwards, wherein float reeds and other 
watry productions. On the banks of this river are some vessels and urns, some 
fallen down, others lying partly in the water, and one standing upright by the stump 
of a willow. 

Some veils, reeds, and Iris-leaves, bundled together, are scattered up and down. 
Several satyrs, dryades, and other wood and field-deities appear out of the wood ; 
some with pine-apples, others with torches of the same tree ; some shrieking out- 
rageously, others viewing the snake, others the dead body: Most of them are orna- 
mented with wild plants or oak-leaves about their heads ; some of them are arrayed 
with goat-skins, others with deer. 

On the left side of the piece, in the distance, a high impending rock is seen, and 
level with it, in the middle of the piece, Thetis driving her sea-chariot towards the 
rock, in order to save JEsacus, who has thrown himself from its summit. Here we 
see him flounce into the sea, and, full of sorrow, beating the waves with his wings, 
and heaving his breast towards heaven, with his head sunk in his neck, seems to com- 
plain to the gods of his hard fate. 

Some who are curious, run in haste to the rock, with loud cries and stretched-out 
arms; at which, the foremost figures look back, pointing at the sea, to give them to 
understand that it is already over with him, 

I do not question, but he who is somewhat acquainted with fables and history, and 
sees such a picture, will presently apprehend the whole drift of the story ; rather, I 
dare flatter myself that a person, not conversant with them, will observe the passions 
in it, and the catastrophe, though he cannot tell who the persons are. 

But to return to the motions; it is certain that all upright figures, whether of men 
or women, must, for"grace-sake,*^owe but on one leg, never on both : by which means, 

• See on this part of the subject, the Trattalo del/a Pittura of Linardo da Vinci. 
It gives some most admirable rules under the term ponderation E. 

20 Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

one hip will always rise. The legs ought not to be further apart than the length of 
a foot. 

Walking, the hip can rise little or nothing ; the breast ought to bear perpendicu- 
larly over the leg, which supports the body: If the right leg advance, the left must 
draw back ; by which means the body is pushed forward ; the right arm or elbow 
falling back, the left arm or hand, as also the face, must appear directly forwards. 

The weight of the body of one running, is entirely supported by the leg which ad- 
vances ; the breast projects ; the head sinks into the neck ; and the other foot is off 
the ground. 

A person climbing, sinks his head into his neck, and the neck is erect ; if the left 
arm rise, the right ought to incline: Contrarily, the right leg is climbing, and the left 
hangs down ; the body bending over the climbing leg, without any visible swell of hips. 

Those who push and those who pull, have a different action from each other; and 
are shewn here sufficiently as well as those who carry ; wherefore we shall say little 
of them ; though this must be observed, that nobody can carry any great weight in 
his hands, otherwise than on the side where the hip rises ; nor, on the contrary, pull 
down any great weight, otherwise than with the hand of the side where the hip sinks ; 
the head ought to bend over the rising shoulder. 

There are still remaining two sorts of motions of no less importance than the others, 
namely, beseeching and sleeping ; yet this last is not confined to the bed at night, but 
occasioned by accidents in the day; in old men, through heaviness; others by exer- 
rise of mind and body; women, by domestic labour; and youth, by their play. 
And though we cannot properly call these motions, but rather a cessation of motion, 
yet I thought proper to exhibit them mplate XI. Wherein, No. 1. shews a slumber- 
ing young man, with his arms and legs wantonly spread. 2. Is a sleepy woman, with 
her head somewhat inclining to her side ; but her arms and legs more modestly dis- 
posed than those of the young man. 3. Shews an old sleeping man with his head on 
his breast, his arms close to his body, his legs drawn in, and body sinking. 

Among the beseeching, No. 4. we see a figure praying eagerly and incessantly 
No. 5. Is praying in the utmost distress. And No. 6. Is humbly imploring the gods 
for help. 

I think these examples sufficient for finding infinite others flowing from the passions, 
according to occasion, and as the matter requires more or less force, zeal, and plea- 

p/<ae. XI. 


, ..A' X' u, r^ e ™^- 


Of Penciling, Second Tint, n?id Beauty. 21 



.Having carefully studied this point, I find that one chapter is too little to com- 
prehend it ; nevertheless I shall here lay down the principal parts of it, hoping to 
treat of the rest in this work, as it comes in the way. 

Having already spoken of two of the fixed beauties of an human figure, we shall 
(keeping nature still in our eye) proceed to the last of them. 

The different colours of the naked 'are as manifold as the objects themselves; nay, 
almost innumerable; but we shall confine ourselves to three classes; — an healthy and 
sick person, and a dead body: applied to a child, man, and woman. 

The child, being in health, is of a rosy colour ; the man of a warm and glowing 
colour ; and the woman of a fair colour. 

But in sickness, the child inclines to yellowish pale; the man to dark pale, or 
fallow; and the woman to a milkish, or yellowish white colour. 

Being dead, the child is violet ; the man more grey, yet somewhat yellowish ; 
and the woman like the child, but more beautiful, as having the whiter skin : the 
reason of which is, that the child, having a thin skin, and being full of blood, must 
appear ruddy; the man, being more yellow, and his skin thicker, must appear more 
grey, since the blood can shine less through it ; and the woman, having a white 
and smooth skin, must therefore shew herself somewhat ruddy. Hence it is, that 
a child, in its tender parts, is more violet, a man more grey, and a woman blue, 
yet more upon the green than the violet. All this is demonstrable by the colours 
themselves; for, mixing blue and red it becomes violet for children ; blue, red, and 
yellow, make a grey for a man ; and yellowish white mixed with very little red and 
blue gives a greenness for a woman. 

Now, in order to obtain the right colour for each, take thus : — for the child, 
white and Vermillion, it being pretty ruddy; for the man the same, with the ad- 
dition of some yellow oker, which makes it more warm, and also more fiery ; for the 
woman, take white, a little vermillion, and some yellow oker. And to know per- 
fectly the proper tint of the tenderness of each of these three persons, you must, 
in finishing, take some smalt* or ultramarine alone, and with a soTTfitcb, scramble 

* Smalt has a tendency in every process of painting to become darker, and should 
therefore be rejected. 

22 Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

your blue over the most tender parts of your figure, so that it lie soft and transparent: 
and you will perceive that this tenderness produces in each figure a particular and 
natural colour. So much for healthy nature : that of the sick and dead shall be 
spoken of afterwards. 

Here methinks I cau scarce understand (though nothing more common) the per- 
verse opinions of painters about colouring; they seek after art, but do not under- 
stand nature; make large enquiries to little purpose; and, as it were, traverse the 
earth, without moving a step. They talk for ever of this or that master's colouring; 
of one they say, Ay, that is beautiful and fresh, — of another, — That is like flesh and 
blood. — Another says, — That is very fresh and glowing. — Others, after having 
prattled a long time, and stupified themselves with enquiries, give up the cause, 
saying, — Such a colour is not in the world; I can neither find nor imagine it; it 
cannot be imitated. — And more such talk. But what fine thoughts are these? If 
our senses cannot apprehend a painted nudity, what must nature herself be? Is not 
the original better than the copy? Had Titian and Georgoiuc a beautiful colour- 
ing? Let us follow their manner: they chose nature for their pattern, without 
imitating other masters, because in whatever other respects nature may be deficient 
in relation to the art,* she is certain colouring ; therefore the life must be the best 
model ; aud what is not entirely like her, though never so flattering, is false and of 
no worth. 

As I have described some weaknesses in painters, so the following are no less 
evils : they pretend to correct nature, though she be, in colouring at least, not to be 
corrected ; incredibly difficult are their fruitless attempts, and as difficult their 
meanings, through the neglect of essential methods for doing things rightly and 

Another mischief proceeds from Tyros themselves ; these, falling upon the life 
at first setting out, can hardly endure to be debarr'd by their masters: but I desire 
such may know, that, by this hindrance, till they can copy well, their masters act 
prudently; after this, let them proceed to the life, since it is certain, that they must 
first get a thorough knowledge of the mixtures of the colours; without which, they 
will make but poor work of the life ; besides, it is far more easy to imitate an object 
painted, than one neither designed nor coloured. 

The better meaning artists must therefore not pretend to arrive at fine colouring, 
without consulting nature ; for the greatest grace lies in its variety, viz. in rosiness, 

This maxim is of the first rate importance, and should be fairly fixed in the 
student's mind. E. 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 23 

yellowness, and blueuess, as well in old as young, principally when each colour is 
rightly applied and naturally represented: but this variety cannot he seen in the 
academy figure by night, but in the day figure at the drawing schools. 

Now, for the docible artist's sake, 1 shall, in the next chapter, treat of such co- 
lours as I have made use of in the dead colouring, second colouring, and finishing ; 
not with design to confine him to those, but to open a door to further enquiries; for 
one country uses these, another other colours, and yet both good, if they at last an- 
swer the same purpose : some again may have been taught other colouring. Hut I 
submit all to practice, and their own judgments. 



A. fair and tender woman is dead coloured with white and brown red ; in the se- 
cond colouring, with white and a little vermillion. 

For a young man the same ; except that we also mix a little light oker with it. 

In a soldier,* brown red, and a little white in the dead colour; second colour as 
the others. 

For a sallow or sun-burnt peasant, white, brown, red, and umber, for the dead 
colour ; ligl t oker and white for the second. 

For a sick person, white, a little vermillion, or brown red in the dead colour ; 
light oker and white for the second, yet but little ruddy. 

The figures being brought thus far, retouch or finish them in this manner ; brush 
thinly over your figure some varnish mixed with a little light oker; then put on your 
main lights, scrumbling them softly and gently into this wet ground, as far as is 
necessary. For a child mix, under the varnish, a little vermillion ; some light oker 
for a man ; and somewhat less light oker for a woman. 

But chiefly observe, that the bluish tenderness must not be mixed or laid on in 
the two first colourings ; but, on finishing, is scrambled in with the main lights, and 
melted into the Met ground of varnish, not with grey or blue mixed with white, 
but with pure and thick-tempered ultramarine only, touched with a fitch pencil, as 
I have already intimated. 

* Broun red is synonimous with what is now called Vandyke brown. E. 

24 Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

Thus also the reflections are to be managed, whether they be strong, or appa- 
rent, or of what colour soever they be ; of which, more in its place. 

The tints of the naked are but three : namely, the light, the mezzo, or second 
tint, and the broad shade ; but I except the rudiness, which is also divided into 
three degrees or parts. 

The three former tints ought to be made and proceed out of one colour, in shades 
as well as lights, but I reckon not among them either the greatest shades, or main 
lights used in retouching. 

The colour of a dead body could, by this interposition, have no place after those 
others; in such a figure use brown oker, and white in the dead colouring; which 
being thinly glazed with lake, more or less accordiug to the age and condition of 
the person it represents, thereon paint with light oker and white for the second co- 
louring ; in which, have a due regard for fingers, toes, and other small parts both of 
body and face, which ought to be grey and violet, as in living nature those parts ap- 
pear rosy and blushing. 

If any ask, why I expressly assign light oker, vermillion, or brown red, to this or 
that body ; and be not content with recommending red and white, or yellow and 
white ; he must know, that there is a vast difference between red and red ; for in- 
stance, take vermillion and white, and brown, red, and white, and observe how 
much the two mixtures differ in force and beauty ; thus it is also with the yellow ; 
which makes a great difference in the colouring of the three nakeds aforesaid, and 
also in their tints. 

But I do not absolutely confine myself to those colours; I name them only as my 
opinion touching them, and that I may be the better understood in what I say about 
them : 

Has the artist a mind, in the second colouring, to put in the tender tints ? Let 
him do it ; but they will, on viewing the painting at some distance, appear like 
spots : he will also find more work and trouble, because the colours lie too thick ; 
whereby he is convinced, and obliged to work it over again another time. 

Before I conclude this chapter, I must propose one familiar question, which is 
frequently started : — Why many disciples give into a worse manner than that of 
their masters? which I resolve thus: their bad manner is the joint fault both of 
master and disciple ; the master's chiefly, in being sometimes negligent in his in- 
struction; for though he understands the grounds, he does not teach them his pu- 
pils : the greatest care he takes, is, to put them on copying all sorts of pieces, as well 
of old as later masters, each handled in a particular manner, sometimes quite dif- 
ferent from his own. The disciples on the other side, being content with a superficial 
likeness, viz. this part as red, that as yellow, blue or green, as the original, (which 

Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 25 

they themselves must find out by tempering and retempering) thence it follows, that 
hi one part or other they generally fall into extravagancy, after they have left their 
masters. Is their master's a hard manner? Theirs will be harder. Was he rough ? 
They will be more so. He warm and glowing? They fiery. Did he colour glar- 
ing? They will exceed him. Was his manner to paint young and old women alike? 
They will paint both women and men, young and old, after one manner ; and make 
their wives or maid-servants their only models. As for painting worse, this Iks at 
the disciple's door, through a propensity to some particular parts, without regarding 
the whole : one affects draperies ; another likes nudities ; another delights in bye- 
works. But such must not take it amiss, if I compare them to thistles, which, where 
they fall, stick. 

But a master, who seeks honour and esteem, must not only be acquainted with 
what I have now delivered, but many more things, if he will be valued for history, 
the universal painting. 



Since a picture cleanly and beautifully coloured must needs be very pleasing, 
as well to the ignorant as the knowing, and the contrary ones be displeasing, we 
shall treat of it as a matter of great importance: but many miss the mark herein ; 
some knowingly, others against their wills ; I say knowingly, in taking a fancy to 
this or that manner, whether good or bad ; and, against their wills, when they are 
past recovery, and custom is become habitual. Sometimes it also happens, through 
carelessness and fear of doing worse : these, it is true, give good ear, but neglect 
right methods. 

As a pure light causes objects to appear clean and beautiful, so it must needs be, 
that the more it is broken and sullied by darkness, the objects will also become 
darker and less beautiful : many great masters have, in this very particular, been 
much mistaken; as among the Flemish, Rubens; and in Holland, Rembrandt, Lier 
vens, and many others of their followers ; the one in endeavouring to paint too 
beautiful, is falling into a glaring manner ; and the other, to obtain softness, got into 
a rotten-ripe manner; two extremes, which, like two dangerous rocks, ought to 
be avoided. But prudence observes a mean in every thing; and a skilful master 
will make a judicious use of the colouring in general, whether in nudities, draperies, 
landscape, stone work, or what else. 

I have often wondered, how some have tormented themselves in the different co- 

2d Of Penciling, Second Tint, and Beauty. 

louring of a man and a woman ; painting him warm and fiery ; her, tender and 
fair ; without reflecting, whether such colouring was proper to their condition, or 
not: nay, without making any distinction between deities and men; the nobleman 
and clown ; which I think very silly. Now, whether they intentionally do it, to shew 
how masterly they can match such a colour, or whether they are fond of such ex- 
travagancies, or bid defiance to those who colour the nakeds of men, women, and 
children, with little or no difference, I will not determine : but must at least observe, 
that though good colouring in general is very commendable, yet what we most shew 
our judgmeut in, is, the giving every object its proper colour, according to its nature 
and quality ; for the difference among objects on the fore ground ought to be much 
greater than those of the second or third grounds; because the distance, or medium, 
of air between, unites every thing less or more, as well colours as objects. 








An order to give the inquiring artist a previous notion of every thing I think 
necessary to the main matter, to the end he may duly weigh his qualifications for 
it, I say that he ought in the first place to have a good memory, to consider well 
what he is to represent, and to retain it in his thoughts; and next, a free and rapid 
hand to execute instantly on paper what he conceives, lest it slip out of his me- 
mory again. 

But these qualities will be of little service, unless he observe order in his pro- 
ceedings ; the more important the composition, the less delay ; because a bright 
thought sometimes conies unawares, and is as suddenly lost; and though perhaps 
it may be retrieved, yet with meaner circumstances than at first. In fine, as we 
take more or less pains about the matter, so the loss will be the greater, especially 
to those of weak memories, to whom we may apply this emblem. A man em- 
bracing the smoke of a burning pile of wood, with both arms, with this inscription, 
— He who embraces too much retains nothing. 

How often do we find, that when we betake ourselves to thought, we are, by some, 
outward cause, interrupted, and our project spoilt by the confusion of our senses; 
to obviate which, it is best to be alone; and then, having paper, pen, and ink, or a 
crayon, and settled the scheme of your composition as to height and length, you 
must mark out the plan or ground, and fix the point of sight, whether the design 
be landscape, or for a chamber, palace, grotto, or what else : after this, weigh well 
your whole design ; then, what sort of persons must enter it, and who ought to have 
the first and most visible place ; which mark instantly, and their bigness, not in 

e 2 

28 Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 

figures, but strokes; here ou the first ground, there, on the second, according to their 
characters and merits; beginning with the king or prince, and. next, his retinue, or other 
proper persons ; if there be still another party to be introduced, of less moment than 
these, and yet as essential to the subject, mark it with points in its proper place. 

Having brought your design thus far, you may, some time afterwards, reassume the 
thoughts of it, beginning with the principal figures ; and now consider by what pas- 
sions your figures are moved; how they ought to stand, sit, or lie ; what they are doing. 
whether they Jfy or run, and whether before or against the light ; how they contrast, 
and how they shall be set off against each other. Sketch all this ou another piece of 
paper, and though in so doing some circumstance may have been omitted, yet the con- 
sequence cannot be great, siuce the lesser, like a river, flows from the greater without 
burthen to the memory. 

Go to your sketch again at some other time with fresh thoughts, and then consider 
what characters must be naked, what clothed, what beautiful, what common; together 
with the proper colouri?ig, and its agreement and order. Thus the design is brought 
to bear ; and this, in my opinion, is the surest way to help and ease the memory. 

Thus much of composition in general ; proceed we to treat of each part in pas- 



A wonder at nothing more, considering how many histories can be collected from 
sacred writ, that we see so few of them attempted, and those so little different in de- 
sign. For in four hundred lately published, most of them are on subjects which 
have been represented before, without any attempts on such as have been left unde- 
signed, as if no composition could be made of them. It is the same with Ovid, 
Homer, Virgil, and many others, though from them might be gathered matter for 
above three times as many pictures. The cause of all this, I find, after much pains 
and inquiry, to be ignorance and carelessness, those two impotent sisters, who check 
the senses and obstruct inquiries ; an evil to be cured only by diligent exercise. 

We need not doubt, but that the ancient painters have picked out the best histories ; 
but it is folly to think they therefore despised all the rest. It were unhappy, if the 
secrets still remaining, had before been all discovered, for then we might bid adieu to 
all future endeavours. But supposing, that the best subjects are chosen, it falls out 
nevertheless, that those which are slighted are oftentimes the most painter-like, and 

Of Ordoimance, or Composition. 29 

hare the strongest passions, and at tlie same time the most elegant bye-works; so that we 
need not despair of sufficient matter. 

But we see in cattle that they will follow one leader; and so it is with some paint- 
ers, who think they have done enough, when between their compositions, and the 
old ones on the same subject, the difference lies- in figures sitting instead of stand- 
ing ; the action in the opeti air instead of being within-doors ; or by some alteration in 
the ornaments and bye-works : but nobler souls soar higher ; they do not sit down cou- 
teuted with what others have thought, but strive to excel in things better, and new, or 
at lest as good as the others. 

What praiseworthy pieces must those be, which are built on other men's thoughts? 
The original designers taxed with ignorance and little sense, because their works are 
seen thus corrected in actions, draperies, colours, and ornaments : but let such art- 
ists continue to torment themselves as long as they please, men of sense will always 
think meanly of them, and give the praise to the first inventors. 

Great souls are always ambitious to share equal honours with happier masters; 
for who of the poets would not be equal to Homer? Of the philosophers, to Aristotle? 
Of the painters, to Raphael? Of the statuaries, to Michael Angelo ? Those great men 
have done as great things to acquire a name : A desire of glory has fed the fire of their 
labours ; and this has secured them both honours and riches. They did not vouch- 
safe, when the day was shut in, to spend their time in company, but ardently fired 
their lamps for night improvements ; and thus they attained the greatest eminence. 

These things I judged preliminary to what follows; and therefore we shall pro- 
ceed to management. 

CHAP. nr. 


A he management of history will serve for universal conduct throughout this whole 
work; for no one can be said to be a good master, without a perfect knowledge of 
it : it is so general, that it affects every branch of the art ; as the grouping of figures ; 
plating of colours; choice of light and shade; laying grounds; nay, even the dis- 
position of each single figure : but I shall nevertheless be brief, and so proceed. 

"When now you have chosen your subject, whether in history, fiction, or emblem, 
make a rough sketch of it, and so imperfectly, as only to understand your own marks 
and strokes : then read w ith attention the best and exactesl writers of the story, in 

30 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

order to conceive it well, and fix it in your memory, marking immediately what yon 
have read. 

On your next return to this sketch, you must principally consider, in what coun- 
try, in what season, and what time of the day, the action happened ; and whether 
within or without doors, whether in stately places or common ones; and, lastly, the 
quality and dignity of the persons concerned ; thus much for circumstances. Now 
mind exactly the essence of the story, and then the accidents proper to it. The event 
of the story must always fill up the chief places in the composition; aud the begin- 
ning of it to be disposed in the distance; as cannon-ball, shot from a distance, bat- 
ters a near bulwark, and scatters whatever opposes it; by this means the drift of the 
matter will appear at first view. Note all these thiugs in your pocket-book, that you 
may remember them : and be sure to consult them often for that purpose. 

Some day afterwards, early in the morning, when your head is easy and clear, re- 
consider the whole matter : imagine yourself t° oe f ^ ie fis 7vre ' which (one after ano- 
ther) you are to exhibit, and so proceed to the most inferior. 

Next, extend your thoughts to the places where the action happened: this will 
bring, you to apprehend the nature of it ; and you will quickly perceive all your 
figures in order, aud the qualities of each, their distances and proper places : mark 
this in general with strokes only. Put each principal person's name to his figure, that 
you commit no mistake in them, or the disposition slip out of your memory. After 
this you must mind every other particular figure; and lastly, consider by what pas- 
sions they are all moved. 

By this method it is certain, that we are far advanced in general, but little in par- 
ticulars ; the design is as yet no more than as if a person, standing on an eminence, 
or the top of a steeple, were viewing in an open country the preparations of a great 
army. He sees all neatly divided into troops and regiments; here the horse, there 
the foot, and there again the general, and further off the officers ; yonder again, the 
carriages for provision and ammunition, and so forth. Now, such an one only knows 
the objects to be there, and the place where ; but having a good order, and following 
it, he can the more easily represent the rest. 

But he must still go further, in considering from what side, and, in what place, all 
is to be seen, and whether the horizon must be Imv or high ; place your principal 
object as much as possible in the middle, on a rising ground ; fix your point of sight ; 
determine your light, whether it must proceed from the left, or the right, from behind 
or before ; and whether the story require sun-shine or a common light ; next, dispose 
the rest of the Jigures in groups, some of two or three, others of four or five, more or 
less, as you think proper. But of this we shall say more in a particular chapter. 

In the mean time, to help those - who may not presently r.pprehend this, we shall 

Of Ordonnavce, or Composition. 31 

give an example from off the fore ground ; I say, then, that von must place your 
principal Jig u res conspicuous and elevated upon the foreground ; give them the mam 
light, und greatest force of colouring, in one mass, or group ; the less objects must be 
somewhat lower, and their force of light and colour more spread. The second 
ground ought to be in shade, or filled with shady objects; and behind them, on the 
third ground (whichrnust be light again), dispose the objects of smallest consequence : 
observing always, that large objects are placed behind small ones, and small objects 
behind large ones ; as also strong lights against dark shades ; if you cannot find it 
by the shade, endeavour to affect it by dark colours, as we shall shew more amply 
in another chapter. 

Having got thus far make your sketch anew on another paper, wherein draw all 
the nudities aj'ter the life, and the draperies from the layman, figure after figure, as 
finished as possible : disposing every thing so to the light, that neither more or less 
shade appear, than the ichole requires. Forget notto place your figure and layman 
agreeable to the point of sight in your sketch. 

Now consider the motions and passions ; which, to represent naturally, I shall here 
shew a proper method ; standing before a looking-glass, make, with your oicn body, 
such actions and motions as your figures require ; the passions you must conceive from 
the history ; for instance, for a figure in a fright, observe how you stand, what you 
are doing with the right hand, and where the left is; how you turn your head; what 
the left leg is doing, and what the right; how you bend your body, and so forth : 
sketch all this with their circumstanees, without heeding proportion, but the motion 
of the members only : then set your layman to that sketch, disposing it so as you shall 
need it in your composition, chusing the most bcautijul side, best light, and most 
advantageous shades for the purpose. If the figure must be clothed, cast your dra- 
peries as fine as possible, according to its character. Then draw carefully on blue or 
drawing-paper; but finish the naked from the life only. Take the same method in 
other passions and figures, as we shall shew further in the sixth chapter. 

In the mean time begin your general design on the cloth, from your last sketch, 
and complete it after your finished drawings, or models. As for bye-works, and other 
proper decorations, we shall treat of them in another chapter. 



In few parts of the art are greater abuses committed than in the use of fine prints, 
and compositions of greater masters ; for many accustom themselves so much to them, 

32 Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 

as seldom to do any thing which is not borrowed from prints, or other men's draw- 
ings. Are they to compose a history, emblem, or fable, they bring it together piece- 
meal, and by scraps; and searching their whole store of prints, drawings, and aca- 
demy-figures, take an arm out of one, a leg out of another ; here a face, there a dra- 
pery, and out of another a body, in order to make of the whole a composition: but 
to whom does the honour belong ? Has somebody used a picture of Poussin, is the 
design that person's, or Poussins? This is like duck-eggs hatched by a hen, and 
we are puzzled to know to whom the praise is due ; but it is certain, that if the true 
owners of such borrowed goods were each to take his own from such painters, I fear 
their genuine offspring would be but small ; it would even fare with them as with 
Erasmus's Cuman ass, who, with the lion's skin, looked terrible ; but his ears disco- 
vering him, he was stript of his borrowed clothes, and severely bantered by every one. 

But another mischief attending this method of proceeding is, that it makes them 
slight the life, nay, oftentimes forget il ; whereby, and the neglect of rules, they never 
become good painters. 

The necessary use of prints consist herein, that next to what lias been said in the 
preceding chapter, and the sketch settled, we inform ourselves what great masters 
have thought and done on the same subject ; how they chose their objects, and with 
what bye-works ornamented : this will improve our thoughts. The next thing we are 
to observe, is, the grace of their action, faces, lights and shades; and if any thing be 
for our purpose, seek it in the life ; or if draperies, take them from the layman ; thus 
we may call the work our own. But, above all, we must make use of academy- 
figures of our design, especially those done in private. No figure must be painted 
twice in one picture, without urgent necessity : but the following ornaments, whether 
our own or others, we may lawfully use ; such as trees, stones, tombs, fountains, 
urns, statues, ruins, all sorts, of architecture, and other ornaments, as much as we 
please. lie who goes further, bigots himself so much to prints, and other men's 
thoughts, that he thinks himself under a necessity to express every thing their way : 
but it is certain our aim in viewing prints is twofold ; first, to sooth and please the 
eye; next, to enrich our thoughts when we are about a composition of our own ; for 
then they prove of the greatest advantage to a tyro, in giving him not only fine 
thoughts, but also a pleasant and beautiful manner, agreeable postures, graceful 
actions, well-cast draperies, and, what is above all, a quickness of thought and 4 
warmer inclination ; as is more amply shewn in my drawing-book. 

Of Ordonncmce, or Composition. 33 



1 itoiiABii.iTV, as operating on the mind and imagination by the help of sight, 
ou°-ht chiefly to be observed in the partition and representation of histories, and is 
next in consideration to the three branches wherein beauty consists ; of which we 
have already spoken. 

It ought to appear not only in general, but in each single object, ; and we must take 
care to reject every thing repugnant to it. 

In order to it, consider what characters the subject consists of, whether of people of 
fashion or ordinary people, or of both mixed ; let this appear in their carriage, shape, 
graceful motion, and pleasant colouring, as being people of education. 

If the figures be rustic let rusticity be visible in them; not only in dress, but in 
their behaviour, colour, and motion ; and if therein some agreeableness appear, let it 
still favour of rusticity. 

By this means, and what follows, your thoughts will appear natural caul likely, to 
wit, by giving more or less beauty to persons of condition, and more or less simplicity 
to meaner persons ; one may be short, another may be tall ; one squab and corpulent, 
another thin and slender; one somewhat crooked, another of a brown or pale com- 
plexion ; one of a quick, another of a slow motion ; nay, in three or four figures 
there ought to be at least one quite unlike the rest : I might say, that hardly any 
two ought to be alike ; among six or eight one at least should be hunch-backed; 
and though this may seem to contradict what we have before said touching beauty, 
yet it contradicts it not in reference to condition, since a hunch-back, wry shoulders, 
distorted hips, a bigger or less head, have as good an agreement with the other mem- 
bers as the most handsome-made. 

If it be asked, what would be wanting if the figures were all well-proportioned, 
yet some inferior to others in beauty ? I answer, that these last but in some measure 
partake of the agreeableness of the others, and one in a less degree than another ; 
and as it is a truth that great people are subject to deformity of body as well as little 
ones, so their deformity is not so visible as in meaner persons. 

Hence, I think my opinion not ill grounded, that chiefly in resortual compositions, 
such as plays, divine services, courts of justice, and concourses of all sorts of people, 
all sorts of shapes are to be introduced ; as crooked, short, tall, awry, fat, and lean, 
and even some lame and crippled, as occasion requires ; but then they must be so 

VOL. I. F 

34 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

disposed, that, without offence to the eye, they do by comparison insensibly set off 
other figures near them ; which is a main proof of the likelihood or probability of an 
history : but to make this point the plainer, I shall shew the difference between one 
old person and another, and one young person and another, each in a less or greater 
degree of beauty ; and confirm it by examples. 

As for the management of fables and emblems, these, being not facts, but fictions, 
consisting mostly of virtues and vices, require a quite different treatment ; for in 
representing virtue no blemish must appear, and in vice no perfection. 

As to Deities, who ought to be perfect in every respect, we shall, as occasion 
offers, write more at large, and treat of them thoroughly in a select chapter; and 
in the mean time, shew here some different arrangements of the same thing in persons 
of different conditions, as in Plate XII. 


No. 1. Shews the different grace in taking hold of a glass; the one takes it with a 
full fist. 

No. 2. Takes it lower with some manners. 

No. 3. Is a princess holding a cup with the tips of her three fingers, drawing warily 
and agreeably the little finger from it. 

No. 4. Is a lady's woman, who, fearful of spilling, holds the glass handily, yet less 
agreeably than the other. 

No. 5. A prince holds it handily and cautiously below on the foot. 


Here you see again the effects of education between people of condition and more 
common persons, very worthy a painter's notice. 

No. 1. Shews a clownish peasant, and how greedy and disorderly he eats out of 
his porringer ; he sits, and leans with both elbows on the table, embracing his dish 
with both arms, lest somebody should take it from him ; he holds the spoon with his 
thumb and fingers under the porringer: his mouth over the dish, and his chin 
:uhances to meet the spoon; his head is sunk in his shoulders, and he bends for- 
wards with his upper parts. 

No. 2. Sits upright, and, being better bred holds the porringer by one ear, and 
the spoon with three fingers by the end of the shank ; lie opens his mouth but little. 
Again appears a difference in. 

No. 3. Representing a gentlewoman holding the spoon with the tips of three 
fingers, and the hand over the shank, in a very agreeable manner ; and in 

No. 4. You see a lady managing a spoon with less grace than the other. 

Plate. \, 



r -~^ t&>* <$£& £r-77T 



/" le.j£aXre//e mi-. 

J. &ZT-Tl*T*n*lf 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 35 

This pleasing air is admirably observed by the great Raphael and Corrcggio, and 
particularly by Barocci, as we may see in a tine print after one of his paintings, 
win re Mary is represented with a spoon i.: her hand, taking some spoon-meat out 
of a dish, held by an angel, in order to give it to the child Jesus, who, half swaddled, 
stands in her lap: this print is, in my judgment, so admirable for grace, and so na- 
tural, modest, and great, that nothing could be better exprest. 

Though the two preceding examples might be sufficient to shew all other handlings 
and the difference of action in particular conditions of persons, we shall nevertheless 
add a third. 


Shews how attentive the two peasants stand listening; the one, with an high back, 
advances his chin, and stares at the speaker as if he would look through him; he 
hug- himself, and rests on both legs, which, with the toes, are stradling; the knees 
somewhat bent, and the feet turned inwards : the other stands straight, poising his 
body mostly on one leg; has one hand by his side, and with the other takes old of 
his garb on his breast; the other leg, a little turned, is somewhat more forward, and 
hjs belly somewhat sticking out; his whole carriage more agreeable than that of the 

Here again we see a reputable gentlewoman of a modest gait, her carriage lofty 
and agr. eable, one hand rests under the breast towards the body ; the inside of the 
hand turned upwards; lingers loose and airy bending downwards; hearkening with 
attention, she, with the other hand, lifts up a part of her garment. She stands straight; 
her head turned sideways, a little forward; her knees ami feet close, and one heel 
turned towards the inward ancle of the other foot: now, on comparing the other 
woman standing by her, likewise listening, we may see what a difference education 
makes in peoples actions ; both her hands rest on her hips ; she stands on both feet 
without any sway; the upper part of her body bends a little forwards, her breasl 
and chin advance, her head somewhat tossing, her mouth a little gaping ; but her 
hips swell not. 

In such observations as these consist the very nature mid grace of a composition, 
be it of many or few figures, in reference to persons, and therefore I cannot too much 
enforce the inquiry into so important a point: I speak here of grand, majestic, and 
most agreeable action; for the contrary is naturally and daily to be found in us; and 
though many would be better thought of, yet they shew the contrary by daily con- 
versation with mean people, whereby they slip the opportunity of getting better ideas 
of genteel carriage, contenting themselves with shooting at random only. HoweF< r. 
they excuse themselves, by saying, that they have no opportunity of getting iut 

r •> 

36 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

company; a weak shield to defend their sloth ! Do not the church, the playhouse, and 
the park, give them opportunity enough to see fine people, and to observe how they 
behave? As for me, before I had the happiness to which we may sometimes arrive 
by the smiles of friends, I missed no occasion of making observations, and noting 
them in my pocket-book ; which an history painter ought always to have about him, 
wherever he goes, and with good reason ; for thoughts are often so volatile and slip- 
pery as to be retained with difficulty, as 1 have before intimated in the first chapter 
about compositiou. Nay, when I saw a handsome gentlewoman walking in the street, 
I made it my business to inquire into the reason of her grace, and in what it consisted, 
and why she appeared more agreeable than others; and, on the contrary, why others are 
less agreeable: by such researches as these, we come to the knowledge of what is 
handsome and ugly., as well by the one sort of people as the other; but best by 
studying what is most sublime and grand. Let me then persuade the artist to this 
method, not as I think it the only true one, or to dissuade him from any other, but as 
an inlet to so useful a knowledge, and by which we obtain the finest things ; which, 
as 1 have said, when once lost, may perhaps never be retrieved. 

Many mistake, who think that magnificent garb and rich ornaments, as jewels, pearls, 
gold and silver stuffs, fyc. are infallible marks of the greatness and power of people: 
but can the most discerning certainly conclude them to be such by these tokens, with- 
out inquiring whether their education be equal to their grandeur? even then also they 
may be deceived, since some mean people have naturally, or by imitation, such an air 
and carriage, that, were their dress answerable, they would be taken for great ones: 
the reason of which is, that at first sight there appears little difference between false 
jewels and true, though on a nice inquiry may be found ; as in the jewels, so in their 
actions and behaviour, such a difference as points out their tpie character. 

Again, if these different conditions depended only on rich clothes, nothing would 
be more easy to a painter than this difficult part of art ; since at that rate there could 
be no fashion ; or a broom-stick might become a lady's hood. Nevertheless there 
have been, and still are, painters enough infected with this opinion, and follow it as a 
law; thinking that David, Solomon, and Ahasucrus would not be known for kings, 
did not their crowns shew it; these forsooth they must always have wherever they 
are, and as well in the bed-chamber as on the throne; and the sceptre as well at the 
table as at the head of an army. I say nothing yet touching their royal robes. 

He who duly weighs what 1 have been saying, must allow, that state and carriage 
are two such excellent qualifications, that a picture cannot be said to be good with- 
out them; nay, I think them the very soul of a good picture: but as a noble soul, in 
a well-shaped body, without the addition of ornaments, visibly shews itself, so of 
course such are needless in expressing true greatness : indeed, when ornaments are 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 37 

introduced with judgment and caution, they add to the splendour of a picture, hut no- 
thing to character, nor can cause any passions ; as we sec in Raphael, Potissin, Domi- 
nichio and Sarocci, who, far from approving it, have, by the very simplicity of their 
figwres, shewn the extraordinary greatness I have Keen speaking of. 

If any object, that Raphael himself has not observed this conduct in his story of 
Bethsheba, where he represents David in a window with a crown on his head; or 
where Abraham courts his Sarah in sun-shiny weather, which afar off is seen by Abi- 
melech Leaning on a bullustrade. As for the first composition I must say, if I may 
speak my mind, that I do not over-like it, or indeed apprehend it ; but rather believe 
it to have fared as some faulty things did with me, which being done in my appren- 
ticeship I am still under some concern for; but by the introduction of the sun-shine, 
his thoughts may possibly be finer than they appear at first view, because, had not 
the sun shone on thai amorous couple, Abimclech could not, at his distance from 
them, have seen their courtship; and if he had represented them in any other corner 
of the room, than that where they were, they could not ha\e been sitting. However, 
since great masters have their failings, it is probable, that Raphael's Bible prints were 
sooner or later, either designed or painted by his best disciples, viz. Julio Romano, 
Gio Francesco Penni, or Picriuo del Vaga, from his sketches, and afterwards re- 
touched by himself, since it is impossible that one master could dispatch so much 
work in so short a time, though he had a quick pencil ; besides, his custom was to 
keep his works long by him for the sake of improvements, ami to give the last hand, 
and the utmost perfection to them : but. as for this Bihle, if it be observed with atten- 
tion, there will be found a great difference between one composition and another, 
though in some the greatness and likelihood are well preserved. 

But to conclude the matter of this chapter, I must say, that my precepts ought not 
only to be observed in a composition of many, but of few figures also, since it is very 
difficult to bring them all into onestory : hut if the subject be court///, as of Solomon, 
Altasucrus, or such-like, it must he known, that the persons to whom majesty and 
grace are most proper, ought to exceed in it: viz. the king anion- his courtiers; the 
queen anions;- her ladies ; a governor among citizens, and thus the greater above the 
less, according to his quality, office, or dignity; this causes a proper distinction of 
superiority, and exalts the prime person above the rest. 

Even peasants, who are a little conversant with towns, and know somewhat of good 
manners, are observed to surpass others worse-carriaged than they, in their discourses, 
holiday-mirths, and church-ceremonies ; but clow nislmess must appear in them, though 
with respect to the passions some may appear to excel others; except that if a bur- 
gomaster, or toping citizen be mingled amongst them, he must appear superior to 
them all by his handsome carriage and city-behaviour. 

S8 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 



Jlhe artist ought not only to mind nicely the actions, but also the diffennce pf the 
persons who are to compose his picture ; and he must have great regard both to uni- 
versal and particular differences, as well in the sexes as their ages. 

Children alter commonly every three years, and till they are six years of ^ge have 
always short necks and round fingers. The difference between boys and girls is 
visible in their outward parts, without opening their legs, as Testa does. 

In the small members the difference is not very visible, though girls are some; what 
thinner, have smaller ears and longer heads ; their arms are likewise more round next 
and above the wrist, and their thighs thicker than those of boys ; but the upper 
part of boys arms is thinner and smaller. 

Those of Francesco Quesnoy are incomparably fine to paint after ; perhaps nobody 
has attained his perfection ; we see his often represented either without hair, or but 
very little ; whether he thought it more beautiful, or it was his choice in making mo- 
dels, I cannot determine; yet methinks boys may very well sometimes be allowed 
hair, and that frequently curled: girls may have theirs twisted and wound on their 
heads, with flying locks, serving not only for ornament, but distinction of sexes. 

Boys of five or six years old may have hair finely curled ; girls more thick and 
displayed : another difference in the sexes may be this, that girls hair is more soft 
and long, boys more curled and short. 

Children of five, six, or more years old, ought seldom to be represented with close 
mouths; their upper eye-lids are generally hid under their swelling brows; they 
have commonly a cpiick look. 

Young damsels have a vigilant and lively look ; raised forehead ; nose a little hol- 
lowed ; a small but almost open mouth ; round lips and small chin ; in which, as in 
the cheeks, is a small dimple; they have no under chin. 

Virgins we see seldom open-mouthed ; their eyes are more sedate and composed 
than the others. 

Old women ought to have a more set and heavy look, and hollow eyes ; their up- 
per eye-lids large and loose^et a little open, the under lids visible swelling; nostrils 
somewhat contracted; mouth close, and fallen in: and when they are very old and 
without teeth, their under lip comes over the upper; they also have risings under the 
cheeks on each side of the mouth ; a long but little crooked nose suits them ; but in 
men a more crooked one is proper. 

Of Ordonnance, or G ion. 39 

People in authority become a grave look, a forehead somewhat raised, and large, 
heavy eye-lids, and those half open ; their aspect settled and calm : their faces turned 
a little -ill \'::vs; the nose alike with the forehead and eyes; month shut, and a 
double chin. 

It is necessary to take particular notice of the different make and form of persons, 
so far as they are described in history, in order to express the better the nature of 
the matter; as Alexander and Ilephestion in the tent of Darius; wherein Hephestioh 
ought to be taller than Alexander: in Saul and David, the former tall, and the latter 
less and ruddy. And thus of any other circumstance of history. 

In the observations about taking and holding any thing, I have noticed that infants 
are very fickle and harmless, and because their members are very feeble, and 
commonly ply any way, they act as if half lame ; their hands are always squab, and 
therefore most open. 

Young girls are wanton in their taking and holding ; as in the manner of Goliziu;:. 

Virgins and stayed women are modest and mannerly in their taking and holding; 
as I have shewed before. 

But aged people have stiff and dry hands ; for which reason they are most tim« s 
shut, and they cannot extend their fingers. 

Although different accidents cause an alteration in the face and posture, those al- 
terations are nevertheless very unlike each other, therefore each ought to be treated 
in a distinct manner; chiefly when any particular passion moves us to this or that 
action, whereby the features and lineaments of the face are doubled by the said un- 

Suppose, for instance, that all faces were cast in one mould, and each governed by 
a particular passion, as sorrow, gladness, hatred, envy, anger, madness, &c. Hence 
it is certain, that they will be very unlike and different ; as well the actions of the 
body: and if now you give each a particular make, and lineament, this will augment 
their difference. 

This observation is of great use to face and history-painters, and the contrary as 
useful when nature and circumstances induce us to make two or three to be like each 
other in one composition; namely, a company of figures all of one family, who, 
therefore, may well take after one person in likeness, as the sons of Jacob ; the 
Horatii and Curacii ; for thus we evince the truth of the story. 

Again, in treating the feeble, where the daughters of Cecrops open the basket, in 
which was Erichtonius, here we are obliged to make their faces alike, to shew that 
they are sisters ; for otherwise who would know them to be so, though represented 
alike beautiful ? and it would be asked how the affinity appears, seeing it is not 
enough to say they are sisters; or that Pallas is Jupiter's daughter; or the long- 

40 Of Onion nance or Composition. 

bearded JEscidapius the son of young - Apollo. But if you give these three sisters 
one and the same aspect, yet to each a distinct passion, they will then differ very much : 
for instance, let the youngest, who opens the basket with surprise, start hack, as if 

she were saying Good God, what is this? The second, full of fear, runs away, 

calling out — — Dear sister, save me from this monster ! And the third, heing elder and 

more staved, stepping back, with amazement, says, What! this is a monster. 

Tims proceed three different motions from one aspect or likeness ; for though the re- 
semblance is somewhat altered, yet the some proportions and features still remain. 

The case is the same between parents and their children ; for instance, if the 
father have a crooked nose, or that of a Ceesar, the child will, in some degree, have 
a nose somewhat long and rising : has the mother a long and straight nose, the 
daughter will have the same; except that in tender youth it is less or more bending, 
as in old age it is thicker and broader, but little different in length, as experience 

We see in the twelve heads of the Roman emperors, their natures and inclinations 
well expressed, and agreeable to the histories of their lives ; yet I doubt, whether 
they all agree with the true aspects of those emperors ; or, whether the cotemporary 
masters (who were well skilled in physiognomy) have not thus altered them, ac :< 
iug to their natures, rather to represent their internal faculties, than their outward 

It is admirable to consider how our senses are surprised, when all the particular 
aspects are well observed according to the passions which they represent ; methinks 
we thereby discover mens inmost secrets; that this person sings a high tune, that a 
low one; that one bellows with pain, another inwardly laughing; the teeth of one 
chatter with cold, another parched with heat and thirst: thus a small line can let 
you into a whole couutenaiiance ; less or more fatness, also, much alter a face. 

But, for the artists benefit, I think proper to shew him away of finding out all 
sorts of aspects after a certain and easy manner. 

Let him take a looking-glass, and draw himself by it in such a passion as he desires, 
as joyful, sorrowful, spiteful, &c. and imagining himself to be the figure he wants to 
represent, draw this nicely with red or other chalk on drawing-paper; observing 
nicely the knitting of the brows, look of the eyes, swell of the cheeks, contraction of 
the nostrils, closeness or openness of the mouth, jut of the upper or under jaw-bone, 
according to his position, whether straight or bending : then let him take a plaister- 
face, and make a mould from it of lead, or other hard matter, in order to make after- 
wards as many impressions of clay as he pleases ; these let him alter to the before- 
mentioned drawing, either with his fingers, or modelling sticks, as he thinks proper, 
taking away something here, and adding something there ; but still preserving the 

Of Ordoimanee, or Composition. 41 

trjHerftllikpiess,: thus fhey will serve instead of the life, chiefly when the face, ou 
which the mould was made, comes to be like the drawing, that, bj the aforesaid 
alterations, the artist can also see how much the features likewise alter. 

Thus all ports of passions raaj l>e moulded with little trouble, and the moulds 
used in as n;;in\ different manners as be pleases, whether they are to be vi wed from 
below or above, or in profile. 

He, who is provided with store of such models, will find great help from them, 
since we cannot be. furnished with them from life itself: nor from our own persons, 
otherwise thau in a single and fronting position in a looking-glass. A- fir knowing 
BOW to make them, a few days and a little instruction will teach us as much as is 
necessary, if we pan draw well. If to these the artist add a mould for a child and a 
.woman, the set will be the more complete. 

Before we conclude this chapter, it is necessary to saj something of the disposition 
gfboth sexes in a sketch of a capital composition ; as in a concourse of all sorts .if 
people, at an offering-, a play, &c. where we see, that those of a sex get together, and 
youth to youth, age to age, men to men. and women to women : but young women, 
out of curiosity, are observed to crowd under the people; and though notwithstanding 
the} join themselves to their se\, yet they are afraid of mishap; and therefore, for 
protection's sake, often take children in their arms; but a man of judgment will 
nevertheless distinguish these maids from others by their breasts, head-attire, or dress, 
though attended with three or four children. 

It is improper to let children of three or Jour years old run into crowds, without 
mother, brother, or elder sister to guard or hold them by their hands. 

In places of public pleadings, firm and high places should always be assigned to 

women ; as against stone-work, walls, and the like; because their bashfulness makes 

' them timorous, and their reputations ought to make them covet rather old mens thau 

young mens company, to guard them from the insolence of the mob, soldiers, or 

others, who, on such occasions, intrude any where to rummage, rob, or play tricks. 

Thej vulgar commonly press close to the pleading place, light women are mostly 
found in the middle of the crowd, and people of fashion stand behind. 

chap. vii. 


Itrevious to the matter of this chapter, I shall insist on an observation, which, in 
my judgment, is worth the artists uotice, as being for his advantage, as well as his 

VOL. I. G 

42 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

diversion ; it is, in assigning the reason why many make so little progress in their 
studies : now I imagine it to proceed from their inconstancy and lukewarm affection, 
which tie up their hands, unless necessity drive them to work. They often say, — I 
was so lucky as to do it; or — It fell out hetter than I expected, — as if the business 
depended on fate, not on mathematics. But it is quite otherwise with those who 
push on with zeal and good-will, and consider earnestly and sedately, not accident- 
ally, what they are about : these are not satisfied with having painted a picture well, 
and being as well paid for it, but reflect how much they are furthered in the art by- 
it, and consider, if they were to do the same again, what alteration and improvement 
they could make in it ; since it is certain, that though w r e improve by practice, yet 
by shorter ways we can attain a perfect knowledge, and in a less time too : our own 
faults make also a deeper impression on us when discovered by ourselves, than if 
observed by others, because we naturally hate reproof. 

Nothing affected me more than when I found my errors, or more rejoiced me 
than when I hail corrected them ; which nevertheless did not fully satisfy me ; for I 
endeavoured still to make what was good better. About twenty-four years ago I 
had a mind to paint in little the story of Slratonicas paying Antiochus a visit; I 
took abundance of pains in it, and it was extremely liked. Some years after, an 
opportunity offered of my doing the same thing again, but six times larger: I did 
not think it proper to govern myself by my former thoughts, though much approved, 
but diligently consulted the best writers on the subject, rejecting the trivial ones, 
and then proceeded as carefully to finish my work ; which got me more reputation 
than the former, because executed with more simplicity and less pompous circum- 
stances; it representing only King Selcuchus, Stratonica, Antiochus, and the phy- 
sician ; whereas, in the other, I had introduced a train of courtiers about them, and, 
in fine, every thing I could think of to make it look pompous and gaudy. Thus 
out of a single flower we may, by care and industry, produce a double one, as was 
the case of another picture of Scipio and the young bride, which is in the apartment 
of the states of Holland at the Hague: this picture was of my first thoughts; but 
painting the same subject a second time, this latter, as better composed, got the pre- 
ference, though done but two years after the other; which I submit to any one's 
judgment who compares them. Now if any one ask the reason of this great differ- 
ence, and in so little a time too, I answer, that having perceived my ignorance and 
errors in the first composition, I doubled my pains, informed myself better, made 
nicer reflections, and spared no trouble in order to exceed myself, if possible, in 
the second performance. 

This circumstance also attended my first Alexander and Roxana; for that which 

44 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

EXAMPLE III. in Plate xiv. Of Liberality. 
This reputable man, who, in passing by, is giving a handful of money to a poor 
one, holds out his right hand sideways, iuside downwards ; beholding the poor man 
with a calm and set look, he stands upright, and, with a swelling- belly, is stepping 
forward: the receiver, on the other hand, makes up to the giver, bowing his body, 
strdtching out both arms as far as possible, with his two hands hollowed like a 
bowl-dish, looks on the gift with joy, eyes staring, open mouth, as ifheweresay- 
ingl— O ho! 

EXAMPLE IV. Of Ban valence. 

He who presents an apple to any one holds it from underneath with three 
fingers, as friendly intreating, pressing his left hand, iuside upwards, close to his 
breast : his breast and chin advancing, his head bending somewhat over- one shoulder. 
The other coutrarily receive- it with respect, taking it on the top with four lingers; 
advancing the upper part of his body, and somewhat bowing his head, he dis- 
covers a modest gladness, looking on the gift ; in the mean time the other is Match- 
ing his eyes, 

EXAMPLE V. Plate \v. Of the same. 

He who offers his friend a fine flower holds it with three fingers, at the lower end 
of the stalk; the other takes it with the thumb and fore-finger, next the flower, with 
his head over it in order to smell. The giver, as having smelt it, draws back his 
head over one shoulder from it, his face lifted up, eyes somewhat shut, but one more 
than the other, his mouth half open ; his left hand, close to his shoulder, he holds 
Wide open, as in surprise; he rests on one- leg. advancing will) the other: the 
reqeiver coutrarily iff standing on both legs closed, with his left hand behind him; 
the giver stands firm, the receiver wavering. 

EXAMPLE VI. Of Fidelity, ar Friendship. 

The person whq is presenting a ring to a virgin, as a token of fidelity or friendship, 
holds it upright, with his thumb within it, and the stone upwards; he advances 
his bod) and face, and looks direct, clapping his left hand to his breast : the 
virgin, on the other hand, stands or sits strai-ht up, her-breast somewljat heaving 
cl«3 to the riu-' ; her head somewhat bending and swaying to her righ* shoulder ; 
her left arm hangs down, the hand open, receiving the ring with three Gnto rs of her 
right hand. The giver looks not at her eyes but her mouth, speaking with a look 
between hope and fear: she. with a modest and serene countenance, looks down 
on the ring, rests on one leg, her feet close : the giver advances with bis left leg, his 
knee bent, and rests on his right toes. 


/>*. 1/s fairv//e inf 

I. ' Cam-tiAam 

Of Ordunnauce, or Composition. 45 

Those three last examples 1 exhibit but half way, since the disposition of their 
lower parts may be easily understood. 

As the gifts in all the examples are different, so the sentiments are often verj 
various as well in giving as receiving. 

Whether it be clone in sincerity, out of hypocrisy, or for the sake of decency, the 
motions in either case differ very little ; because in them all the parties endeavour to 
act with as much dexterity as possible ; nay, sometimes so far, that thinking- to im- 
pose on each other, both are frequently deceived : in such case we must take ap- 
pearance for truth, and the contrary. 

But such representations would not answer right purpose, as having false mean- 
ings ; for instead of dissimulation or decency, we should take it for pure love, since 
in all three, as I said, the motion is the same; therefore, to remove all doubt and un- 
certainty, we must have recourse to emblematic figures, which will clear the meaning, 
and point out hypocrisy, falsehood, deceit, &c. by properimages, beasts, or hierogly- 
phic figures; which by-works a prudent artist ought so to dispose, that, though in- 
active or mysterious, they may yet answer their purpose ; for they who are deceived 
or misled should not perceive the least tittle of it. 

Some may think that the deceived, as well as the deceiver, ought to be set off with 
such emblems ; hut this is superfluous ; for as both parties seem to profess sincerity, 
nothing hut hypocrisy must be shewn. 

Ovid tells us, that Mercury, having stolen some oxen, and perceiving that one 
Battus saw it, ami fearful of being betrayed, desired him to keep it secret ; which 
Battus faithfully promised. However, in order to try him, Mercury disguised him- 
self, and a little after came to him, in the shape of the owner of the cattle, and asked 
him whether he could not give tidings of them. Battus pointed to the cave wherein 
they were hid : which incensed the godly thief so much, that, re-assuming his form, 
he beat the traitor, and turned him into a touchstone. Now it is very probable, that 
in the disguise Mercury hid his winged cap and feet, and caducous, that he might 
not be known. 

The same we find related of Jupiter and Ca/isto, when he, in the shape of 
Diana, deceived her: hut here the matter would not be known, did not some 
tokens make it evident, that it was Jupiter and not Diana, though he appeared 
like her. 

The case of such a picture is the same with a theatrical representation, where 
everything is exhibited^ as if it really happened ; the characters deceive and belfe 
one another secretly, without knowing it ; hut the spectators perceive all ; nay, their 
very thoughts ought plainly to he seen and heard. 

4o Oj Ordonnance, or Composition. 



As there are grounds and principles in all arts and sciences, whereon we must build, 
and we cannot, without exactly keepiug to them, either execute or gain true know- 
ledge of things, so they ought chiefly to he observed in the art of painting, and espe- 
cially in the composition ; and since the memory cannot furnish out a story, with all 
its circumstances, in such due order as a regular sketch requires, we must establish 
certain rules, in order to supply that defect, since, though a person should be so 
happy as to have strong memory and brisk conceptions, yet the hands are not so 
quick at execution ; no, the thoughts exceed them : some things also mnst necessarily 
go before, others follow ; which implies and requires time. Could we but draw as 
rapidly as we can think, memory would be useless; whereas it is certain, we can 
draw nothing but the ideas which memory first conveys to the senses. 

However, let no one imagine by what I say, that a master must first sketch what 
he first thinks, and run through the design as things occur to his thoughts ; for con- 
ceptions never observe order, and therefore by such irregularity the performance 
would be worth little, as in the following instance : suppose a representation of Cain 
and Abel, the fratricide ; the first thing that offers, is, Cain flying from God's wrath ; 
next is Abel lying dead ; next the burnt-offering on the altar ; and lastlj , the weapon 
lying by it. Now the last being furthest in your thoughts, it is first scratched down 
with your pen ; then the altar appears ; afterwards Abel; then Cain ; and then the 
Almighty ; and at last the laudscape, which is to determine the extent of the com- 
position. Judge now what such a confused method of designing must produce ; it is, 
therefore, not a matter of indifference how you begin a design ; for the principal 
figure mast be first considered, and then the incidents : as gold is separated from the 
earth, and cleared by refining. We ought then to proceed orderly in the designing, 
making first the plan, next the stone-work, and then the figures or by-works. 
However, we treat this subject in the chapters of the composition of histories, 
hieroglyphic figures, kc. Where we maintain, that the principal ought to be placed 
first ; then the figures of less consequence ; and lastly the by-works. 

But what I intend now, is, to shew a short and certain method of commodiously 
receiving and retaining things, whether they be given in writing or by word of mouth, 
prolix or brief, together with their circumstances, be they many or few, that you may 
sketch them exactly in all their particulars perfectly agreeable to the relation as well 
in motion, colour, dress and probility, as by-works ; which will be of singular use to 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition, 47 

those of short memories, but who are nevertheless skilled in the expression of action' 
the passions and their effects, uses of colours and draperies according- to sex and ;igc, 
laying of colours against proper grounds, difference of countries, sun-shine and ordi- 
nary light, and more such. 

Having considered well of the subject, and where the action took place, first make 
a plan or ground;* next, determine where to place the principal figures or ohjects, 
whether in the middle, or on the right or left side; afterwards dispose the circum- 
stantial figures concerned in the matter, whether one, two, or more ; what else occurs 
must fall in of course : after this, to each figure join its mark of distinction, to shew 
what it is; as, whether a king, philosopher, Bacchus, or river-god. 

The king must have his ministers, courtiers, and guards. 

The philosopher must be attended by learned men, or his disciples. 

Bacchus must have Satyrs and Bacchanals ahout him. 

The river-g d has his nymphs and naiades. 

The king excels by his royal robes, crown, and sceptre. 

The philos •pher is be known by a long and grave vestment, cap on his head, books, 
rolls of vellum, and other implements of study about him. 

Bacchus is adorned with vine-branches, crowned with grapes, and armed with a 

The water-gods are accompanied by urns, flags, reeds, and crowned with water- 

All which badges are naturally proper, though not described in the story ; nay, if 
they were, you need not heed them, since their characters remind us of them when 
we are preparing to introduce them : as if we were reading about the goddess of 
hunting, every one knows that she has a retinue, and is equipped with accoutrements 
for sport : and that the charming Venus is attended with her Graces. This may suf. 
fice for personal character. 

As for motions — 

A king is commanding. 

A philosopher contemplating. 

Bacchus rambling. And 

The river-god in his station. 

When the king commands, all is in a hurry and motion to execute his will; his re- 
tinue are obsequious to his words and nods. 

* If the student, by way of exercise, will try to reduce the historical pictures, which 
come in his observation, to a supposed ground plan, he will soon enable himself to account 
for defects in many celebrated performances. E. 

48 Of Ordinance, or Composition. 

Wbea the p/tilosop'tcr is exercising himself he is cither reasoning, writing, or con- 

When Bacchus is on his ramble, tlte Menadis, Bacchanals, an-d Satyrs madly attend 
his chariot, shrieking and howling: and with tabors, pipes, timbrels, cymbals, i\r. 

The river^god iu bis station, cither rests on an urn or a vessel shedding water; or is 
sitting among his nymphs on the bank of a rirer. 

Thus each character is occupied according to its nature' ; ami so we deduce one 
circumstance from another without seeking it, or being at a stand, rawing such a 
fund of matter in our heads, that on the bare ineution of a pel son we must conclude 
that sucb and such properties are essentia] to him. 

The next business i>. the effects of lite passions: When the general moves, the 
■whole army i- in motion ; when the king threatens, the accused is in fear, and the 
ministers and others remain in suspense. When the philosopher discourses, the 
audience is attentive, and each person moved in proportion to bis apprehensiou, or 
attention ; one has his finger on his mouth, or forehead ; another is reckoning by his 
fingers ; another rubs his forehead ; another, leaning on his elbow, covers bis face 
with his hand, 6cc. "When Bacchus speaks, the noise ceases. When the nater-gods 
are taking repose, every one is husb, sitting- or lying promiscuously at ease. 

If these" example-, he not sufficient to establish my purpose, I shall add one or two 
more; and the rather, because no one before me has treated this subject so metho- 
dicalU ; nay, I may say, hardly touched on it. 

We read in scripture that Queen Esther, over-awed by the frowns of King Ahasu- 
erus, swooned away. That Bd/hazzar, perceiving the hand-writing on the wall, was, 
with his whole court, troubled in mind. Again, in Ovid's Metamorphosis, Aviadne, 
in despair on the shore, was comforted and made easy l»\ the acceptable presence of 
Bacchus, who offered her his aid. From all which, and the like circumstances, we 
are enabled to conclude with certainty, that a single passion, treated according to the 
manner before laid down, can alone furnish matter enough to enrich a whole picture, 
without the aid of other by-works, since many things and circumstances do proceed 
from that one passion only : lor let us suppose two persons passing by each other, as 
in plate XVI. and one seen iu front, the other in rear ; he who walks on the left side, 
and is going off", has a bundle on his right >houlder, from which, something drops be- 
hind him — lie lias a boy and a dog with him. The other coming forwards, and per- 
ceiving what falls, calls to tell him of it ; w hereupon he looks back, and the boy 
runs to take it up. Aow I refer to any ones judgment, whether my thoughts, by so 
simple a relation, be not presently conceded, since it is all the story; 1 fancy they 
are, but yet still better, if keeping within the bounds of the relation, I were to make 
a sketch of it; for though the bare description of the thing easily makes an impres- 

JP/fcA? X\ 

f.d&^atre/je in 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 49 

sion on the senses ; yet, he who is not conversant with the fine motions and beauties 
of action, (which consist mostly in the contrasting of the members) can never hit the 
writer's meaning. 

I place then, the man calling out foreright; and the other man past by him, look- 
ing back and hearkening to what he says : in these postures both look over the left 
shoulder. Now if any one ask whether he, who is passing on, could not as well 
turn to the right as the left in looking back, and the other do the same? I say, No ; 
unless we will run counter to nature ; for I suppose, that he who is approaching has 
a stick in his right hand, and with his left points to the cloth which is dropped ; and the 
other having the bundle on his right shoulder, his left hand rests on his side, by which 
also the child holds him : now, because each other's left side meets, and one sees the 
cloth dropped at his left, his kindness compels him speedily to call over the same 
shoulder to the other man ; who plainly hearing, turns to the side of him who calls; 
whereupon they behold each other ; the boy, being nimble, runs quickly to the cloth, 
and the dog outstrips him in getting to it first: from all which premises is implied a 
natural motion, and turning of the members, without our saying, — the upper part of 
the body fronting; the left or right leg thus or thus. — If we know the place of stand- 
ing, towards whom, and what they have to say, the rest must follow of course. 

Such reveries as these give us a right judgment of a picture, make us retain it, and 
help to remove difficulties ; and if to this be added some certain strokes to point out 
either the place or actions of figures, it would be more easy and helpful to the me- 

If now the preceding example, of the two men passing each other, should seem 
insufficient, I will subjoin one other of the same nature, but fact ; I mean, the story 
of Judah and Tamar, (see plate XVII.) when coming from his country dwelling, he 
is in the way accosted by her in the habit of an harlot ; I put the case thus : Judah 
comes forward, and the road lying on the left side of his house, along which some 
of his servants are going off in order to sheer sheep ; Tamar sits on the right side of 
the road, on the grass, airily and wantonly attired, and with a veil over her head : 
now it is probable, that having a lewd design, she first accosted Judah, who, like a 
man of repute, past her; but when she lifted up her veil and beckoned to him, he 
stopped to hear what she had to say ; thereupon, I suppose, he stood still, resting on 
one foot, and advancing the other to make a halt, to see who calls him ; he turns to 
the left, opening his left hand like one in surprise, and then clasps it to his breast 
to shew that he is struck there; and lastly, takes hold of his beard, as ponder- 
ing what he is going to do : in the mean time she rises and lays hold of his garment. 
The servants are seen either in profile, or backwards, as the road turns and winds to 
the house, having scissors or sheers with them. The honse may lie as the road shews 

vol. I. h 

50 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

it, though, according to ordonnance, the middle suits it better than a side; this is 
sufficient for understanding the meaning of this story, and the right method for hand- 
ling a great work by a short introduction. 

If any one suppose, that if the road were to lie across the piece, and the whole dis- 
position altered so as to make the man go from right to left, and not place the woman 
on either side, it would be all the same, since then she would still be on his left side; 
I say, No ; for she calling him, we should then, of both their bodies, see but one of 
their faces ; and what were such a passionless statue good for ? Again, we could not 
shew his principal motions, which are very essential to the fact ; wherefore the other 
way is best. 

But let no one deceive himself by my manner of relating this history ; for, con- 
sulting the Scriptures, he will find that I have inverted the sense to a subject, shew- 
ing how to give two persons distinct passions, and thereby to embellish a picture ; for 
by the Scriptures it will appear, that Judah is going to the place whence 1 make him 
come, in order to send Tamar a lamb or goat to redeem his pledge. 

I leave it to any ones judgment, whether it cannot be plainly inferred what mo- 
tions these two figures must have, to make thereout three distinct and probable repre- 
sentations, which 1 thus deduce: 

First, In the man's person, an unexpected rencounter. 

Secondly, An inquiry who she is, and what she wants. 

Lastly, A criminal passion. 

First, he is grave, asking and understanding what the matter is, or at least ima- 
gining it, he wishes it may be true; then begins to make love; at last, being fully 
persuaded, he gives loose to his passion, grows bold and venturesome. These three 
periods produce peculiar passions in both, different from each other ; the first, grave 
and modest; the second, kind and loving; and the third, wanton and bold. 

The woman contrarily is moved by three passions. 

First, She is friendly and lovely. 

Secondly, Wanton, with a dissembled shyness. 

Lastly, They both agree. 

First, She accosts him with an enticing air, overcoming his gravity. 

Secondly, he approaching, addresses her in a friendly manner ; but, altering her 
speech, she answers him roughly, and will not be touched. 

Lastly, he being transported with passion (at which she secretly laughs) she pushes 
him coyly from her on one side, and lays hold of him on the other. From all which 
premises we may find three positions springing only from the words which we suppose 
must naturally pass between them. 

Perhaps some may say, — I know nothing of such effects, since they never hap- 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition , 51 

pened to me. — But, it is certain, there are very few who never felt them ; and even 
they can sometimes account for them hetter than others who have known them- 
Many know the virtues of medicines and poisons, without tasting- them ; arguing 
with judgment improves the performance, otherwise art would be impracticable, or 
at least attainable by few, if it consisted in inquiry only ; for who, rim mad, could 
afterwards tell how the frenzy seized him ? the truth is, we can only guess at it. But 
this last story is proposed by me for no other reason than to make it plain and evi" 
dent, how the members are moved by the impulse of the senses, and the intercourse 
of talk, and how by such motions we express our inward thoughts. 

There are many such occurrences in authors, chiefly in Ovid; as Jupiter and 
Calisto, Salmacis -a.nd Hermaphrodilus, Phcebus and Leucot/ue, 3fercurius and Aglaura, 
Jupiter and Semele, Vertnmnus and Pomona, Venus and Adonis, Apollo and Daphne, 
&c. Besides some others in history, as Appelles and Campaspe, Alexander ami Rox- 
ana, Scipio and the young liride, Tarquinius and Lucretia, Antiochus and Stratonica ; 
and in Scripture, David and Abigail, Hagar with the Angel; Christ and Magdalen 
in the Garden; Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well; Mary's Annunciation ; 
the Visit of Many and Elizabeth, and many others ; all of which ought to be treated 
in the same manner, according to the nature of what they are doing ; as at each word 
exchanged, what motions throughout the body must follow, a?id what lineaments of the 
the face ; how the carnations must change either to red or pale, more or less fierce, and so 
forth. By means we may design any thing, and come to perfection the shortest and 
surest way. 



It will not be amiss, as a caution to others, to censure the mistakes of some masters 
in historical compositions, in order to shew of what great consequence it is to repre- 
sent plainly the true nature and stale of things, that we may improve, and not meet with 
rebuke instead of glory. A man of good sense may freely exercise his thoughts as 
he sees good, but many think they merit much by following the letter of a story, 
though at the same time they overlook above half its probability; which frequently 
happens, when they are got into esteem, and have a name. But, alas ! what rich man 
would not be thought such ? what valiant man do a cowardly action ; or wise man 
commit folly ? only through wilful carelessness ; truly it seems unnatural, and I think 
that nobody but of moderate sense would strive to excel in this or that art, without 
being enticed by the desire of fame either in his life-time, or after death : and although 

h 2 

52 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

some instances may contradict this, yet you must observe that I am speaking here of 
pure virtue; for he who built the temple of Diana, and he who fired it, though insti- 
gated by one desire, to leave a lasting name behind him, have been as different in praise 
as action ; from whence I infer, that no artist can be void of inclination for praise and 
honour, which otherwise he must not expect ; and, if so, would blast his credit by an 
imprudent act. 

Raphael, in his Adam and Eve, has represented him receiving the apple of her, and 
resting on a withered stump, and that smoothly severed as with an ax or saw ,• which 
is a double mistake, and if done wilfully not to be excused ; for how is it likely, that 
a tree, which has hardly received life, and placed so near the tree of life, should so 
soon be withered; this must bean oversight like that of Cain, who kills his brother 
Abel with a sharp pick-axe ; and, in another piece Eve, has a distaff: what improba- 
bility and impertinence is this ? for when Eve has spun her flax, whence must the 
weaver come, and who make the scissors to cut it? but perhaps these were not Ra- 
phael's riper thoughts, but rather those of his youth, wherein the greatest wits some- 
times mistake. 

Charles Vermander, though a writer, poet, and good philosopher, has mistaken as 
much in his confusion of Babel ; for the tower and scaffolding are represented un- 
finished in the middle of the piece, divine wrath with flames wavering over it; more- 
over are seen the children of Israel marched oft" in tribes, and here and there distin- 
guished by troops; they with their peculiar standards sit or lie all about, not like 
people confounded by a diversity of speech and a straying confusion, but as met to- 
gether from all quarters only to form a congress ; for there we see Egyptians, Persians, 
Arabians, 3Ioors, Asiatics, Americans, Ettrojieans, Turks, nay, Swissers, all in their 
modern habits: surely we need not ask them whither they are going, because the 
love for our own country prevails above all things ; and therefore every man is return- 
ing to the region whence he took his character, manners, and habit. What this paint- 
er's meaning was, I know not ; but, in my opinion, it is a true confusion. 

I cannot omit another piece of Rowland Suvry, representing paradise ; wherein we 
see that sacred garden replenished with all kinds of ravenous beasts and birds, as 
elephants, rhinoceroses, crocodiles, bears, wolves, unicorns, oslriches, eagles, fyc. 
which must entirely lay it waste : now I appeal to any man, whether such a crowd of 
beasts and birds of prey, contribute any thing to the circumstance of eating an apple, 
which might as well have been done by an ape, squirrel, or other small creature ; which 
makes it look rather like a deer-park than a garden of pleasure. Had more people 
been created than Adam and Eve, the cherubin need not have guarded the entrance 
to keep the savage creatures out, since they were already entered, but rather to keep 
them in, in order to save the rest of the earth from inconvenience. I have seen more 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 53 

such compositions, but, to avoid tediousness, shall not mention them here; it is suf- 
ficient, by few examples of great masters, to know how easy it is to commit mis- 
takes, through ignorance or want of consideration. 

In the first of the aforesaid examples, 1 would shew how it fares with those who 
amuse themselves more with a small part than the whole of a story ; and with an 
arm or leg which no ways concern the matter, without being in any pain for- 
forcing nature, or turning the sense. Of the second example I shall say nothing 
here, since it may be guessed what I mean by the iron of the pick-axe. Of the 
third, that some men seek five legs on a sheep, as we say, whereby, instead of clear- 
ing, they make the matter more obscure and intricate. As for the fourth, some 
make no difference between an Italian floor and a green field, if they can but have 
an opportunity of shewing their wit, introducing every thing, whether congruous 
or not. 

As to Savry's piece, my thoughts are, that all beasts are created by God, but not 
in the same manner witli man : and that each clime produced its proper species of 
animals, which came from thence to Adum lo give them a name according to their 
natures; which was no sooner done, but tiny returned to the countries they came 
from ; some to the east, others to the south, according to their natural inclination to 
this or that climate; so that the garden, wherein the Spirit of God dwelt, was only 
for Adam and his consort ; in it they lived happily, and besides them no irrational 
creatures, except snch as could delight their eyes and ears: moreover it is my 
opinion, that this garden could not harbour any uncleanness, putrefaction, ornoxious 
creatures; wherefore my composition is this: 

Thesi; two naked persons 1 place as principals in the middle of the piece, on a 
small rising, close to a fine tufted apple-tree of larger size than ordinary, and of a 
sound body; Adam sits with Ece in his arms, who half in his lap directs the apple 
to his mouth ; he, with his face towards her, with a staring eye, and raised brow, 
looks surprised, and seems to put the offer away with his hand ; to the acceptance 
of which, she, with a lovely and euticing air, seeks to persuade him ; at the same 
time, with her ether hand behind him, she is receiving another apple, which the ser- 
pent, hanging on a bough, reaches out to her. Behind her is a peacock with its tail 
spread, and a cat pawing her ; besides, a fine hound, who looking back is going 
away. I introduce also cocks and hens, and other tame creatures proper to the region 
for embellishing the landscape. I plant there all sorts of trees, except the cypress, 
to gratify the sight and palate. Small birds are dying about to please the ear: the 
snow-white swans swim in the brooks and rivers which water the garden. On the 
right side of the piece I shew the entrance into the place ; and, on the sides, two 
square pillars of green leaves, beset with melons, pumpkins, and the like ; besides a 

54 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

long and high green wall, running up to the horizon, and uniting with the off- 
skip. The horizon is level ; along the green wall are seen orange and lemon-trees, 
intermixed with date-trees. The whole piece is enlightened with an agreeable 
sunshine. To this composition I shall add another 

Of the Flight of Adam and Eve. 

I was formerly of opinion, that when this pair received their doom, and were 
driven out of paradise, and both subjected to the same fate, the beasts must fly with 
them, having learnt to know their own natures ; wherefore I intended to make my 
composition accordingly, as thus : the two naked and ashamed persons flying from 
the fiery sword which threatens them ; and for embellishment, a great confusion of 
beasts, each attacking the enemy of its kind ; as the cruel wolf setting on the inno- 
cent sheep ; the sharp sighted eagle on the timorous hare ; and so forth. But as by 
this violence the main action would entirely lose its force, and fall into a perverted 
sense, I desisted till I had better informed myself of the matter, especially seeing 
no beasts stayed in the garden, but each returned to his country. I thought agaiu, 
how can this be like the flight of Adam out of Eden? it looks more naturally like 
two condemned malefactors driven into a forest to be devoured of wild beasts ; 
Avhich their fear and frightful looks make more probable ; and therefore I afterwards 
contrived it thus : 

In Adam's flight, the labouring ox accompanies him to help him in tilling the 
ground; the scaly serpent moves before, turning and winding on her belly ; by the 
ox are the long-bearded he, aud wanton she-goat; the woolly sheep ; the crested 
cocks and hens, and other such like creatures for sustenance. As also the faithful 
dog and pawing cat, and such other tame animals as are proper in an hieroglyphic 
sense ; after these follow noxious creatures, as rats, mice, &c. No suushine appears, 
but all is gloomy, and the wind blows hard, whereby the trees shake, and their 
leaves drop; all is waste and wild as if winter were at hand; the rugged and dry 
ground, parted by the heat, makes here and there ups and downs ; the water in the 
feus being dried up, the frogs gape for breath ; the sun being quite hid, the moon or 
north-star appears : such were my thoughts of this story. 

I will end this chapter by sketching a third composition of my own, for the stu- 
dious cattle painter's benefit, being the 

Story of Orpheus'* Death. 

I lay the scene in a desolate place, yet filled with men, beasts, trees, hills, rocks, 
water-falls, and brooks full of fish, and what can be more proper to the matter, all 
being in disorder? Ovid relates, that this ingenious poet and singer, son of Apollo 

Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 55 

and of the muse Calliope, did, with the charms of his harp, bewitch this crowd, but 
it lasted not long; for the mad Bacchanals, enraged because he despisi <! theai. slow 
him, casting his head and harp into the river Hebrus, called by the Gn.ekt Mi rUias, 

as the poet says. INow we Bee the unhappy body of this excellent musician thrown 
from a small hill at the foot of a tree, which, moved by so sad a catastrophe, i ends 
its boughs with sorrow, endeavouring to cover the body with its shade. Next we 
behold the insulting, mail, and intoxicated women, girt with skins, mocking, run 
away, after having flung ihe head into the river running on one side : a young girl, 
who flings in his harp, is likewise driven by the same frensy. Behold now a 
guzzh r, who (though so much in lirpior as to want support, yet) must vent her spleen 
by kicking the body, and flinging a drinking vessel at it, which makes her s^em to 
tumble backwards. Here lie broken thyrses, potshreds, bruised grapes, and vine- 
branches scattered round the body in great disorder. The long-lived stag makes to 
the cover; the dreadful lion and spotted tiger grimly pass each other; each creature 
seeks and attacks its enemy; the hurtful mouse, till now sitting quietly by the 
party-coloured cat, hangs in her mouth ; the greedy wolf seizes the sheep by its 
throat; the faithful hen escapes the thievish fox, Avho near a fallen fir-tree catches 
the lascivious dove ; the hills and rocks retire clashing against each other, whereby 
they tumble; here we see a huge stone; there a flying tree; nay, the water itself 
seems to flow backwards ; the frogs and other marshy creatures, afraid of being 
devoured by the vulture and other birds of prey, dive under water, hut yet the 
white stork flies with one of them in his bill; the cautious hare, running from the 
swift dog, stops short, whereby the dog goes over him, and the hare, to make hex- 
escape, takes a side course; the black raven and solitary owl chatter in the tree at 
one another, beholding the murdered body, which they desire to eat ; and by it lies 
the faithful dog howling, regardless of any thing else. The piece has no agreeable 
sun-shine, but the air is stormy, and full of driving clouds, foreboding a tempest; 
the principal of the composition is shady, and flung off by a light lointain, which is 
almost in the middle. 

Thus I inquire into the genuine state and nature of things, like a huntsman, who 
tracing the course of a deer finds at last his cover ; not that I do it for curiosity's 
sake as a philosopher, but because these, and no other means, can help me ; and 
as long as I keep this path, hope never to err or commit the before-mentioned 
faults, especially seeing nothing argues stupidity more than untimely simplicity; 
whereas critical inquiry is the key of nature's treasure, and of her deepest se- 
crets ; being not unlike what the witty Greeks have feigned of Minerva, whom they 
exhibit with a box and key, and dispensing the sciences to men according to their 

56 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

I used formerly to imitate the unthinking, in not lessening or augmenting the sacred 
stories, but adhering to the letter of the Scriptures without more ado, and without 
making any distinction between heavenly and earthly things; between soul and 
body ; or, in short, between something and nothing ; I know, that as to our eternal 
happiness nothing is wanting to complete it, but many things, with respect to art; 
must I therefore remain in ignorance or dull simplicity ? In the Scriptures, they say, 
all is written that is to the purpose, but then how came the beasts into the garden of 
Eden ? Where gets Cain an iron pick-axe, and Eve a distaff, or the Babylonians 
their particular dresses ? since no mention is made of such circumstances. But 
when you read, that the king went to visit such and such persons, that does not 
imply that he went alone ; as when you find that Haman was carried to the gal- 
lows, somebody must attend him besides the executioner; Joshua, in slaying many 
thousands, did it not alone, without the help of his army. As for me, my opinion is, 
that in true histories, either sacred or profane, no improbable or impossible things 
ought to enter into the composition, nor any thing left dubious, but that every thing 
tend to the clearing up and better tmderstanding them in their full sense and force. 



As by the courage and curiosity of sea-faring men, many remote countries, nay 
a new world, have been discovered, so in painting, when artists spare neither trou- 
ble nor pains, they will likewise, but with less danger, discover a new world in the 
art, full of variety to please the eye. 

We want not a new Homer, Virgil, or Ovid, and their inventions, the present 
have left us materials enough to work on for a thousand years, and that not sufficient 
for the execution of a tenth part of their thoughts ; and, if we do not mend our pace, 
ten thousand years will be too little : the reason is, that we content ourselves with 
patching up old houses with new materials, and yet they are old houses ; if some 
parts decay, the worst are repaired, and the rest rather left unfinished than the 
whole improved. But leaving similies we will use other means, though uncustom- 
ary, to forward us in the art : curiosity is represented with wings, to shew its eager- 
ness to attain things unknown to her; let us not then stop in barely inquiring into old 
tilings, but, enrich them with new thoughts. 

As an example, let us open Ovid, and see his fable of Deucalion, set down in 
his first book of Metamorphosis. Deucalion was a king of Thcssaly, who, with his 
consort, Pyrrha, were the only persons remaining alive of the human race after the 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 5< 

flood: these were enjoined by the oracle of the god Themis* to cast the stones of 
the earth over their shoulders, whereby human race was propagated, and the World 

A well "rounded thought leads the way to many others; even so it happens hen 
in this poet's falile, laid down as a truth : nay. so agreeable to the truth of the flood, 
and Noah's preservation, that there is little difference between the truth and the 
fable; for what is in the one is also contained in the other; and the circumstances 
of the flood are the same in both; the matter lies now in a probable expression of 
the damage which the earth suffered by so total an inundation, and to execute it 
sketch-wise as 1 conceive it. 

Ordonnunce of Deucalion and Pyrrha, after the flood. 

I suppose these two aged persons walking on level ground, the man's head cover- 
ed with a corner of his garment, and the woman's with a veil knotted behind : with 
his left hand he holds his garment full of stones ; her lap is empty : Cupid conducts 
them by the flaps of their garments, with one hand, having also a lighted torch in 
it, and holds them fast, that in turning or winding they may not hurt or go before- 
one another ; the stones, which they have flung behind them all the way as they 
walked, represent human forms perfected in proportion as they are first flung, and 
furthest from them ; the man walks upright, with his right arm lifted up, and hand 
open, as having just flung a stone, which is seen skimming a little above the ground ; 
the woman I represent somewhat stooping in her walk, receiving the stones from Cu- 
pid, which each time she casts away, and he, walking along, takes up before her; 
Deucalion's garment is a sullied purple; her dress old and dark, and her gown 
violet; Cupid is adorned with a red diadem; the grass, full of mud and sand, lies 
flat. A little from these figures is Themis s temple, built on an eminence, and sup- 
ported by columns, or a close wall quite overgrown and full of moss ; this temple 
is surrounded with fine and blooming trees, and near behind it is seen the two-headed 
mount, passing by the point of sight, and encompassed with water. 

On the left side, in the distance, I represent the ocean full of Tritons and Ne- 
reides swimming about the mount. To this hill 1 fasten an anchor, the rope w here- 
of is tied to the boat, which, being left by the water, remains hanging keel-up- 

* She is rightly so called, as proceeding; according- to Hesiod, from Ceelum the 
Heaven, and Vesta the Earth, tcho appointed her to preside over Righteousness : and 
by Jupiter she was styled the Mother of Civil Sciences. 

VOL. I. I 

58 Of Ordonnance. or Composition. 

These are the principal of my conceptions : as for the lesser circumstances, I 
shall not limit them here ; such as the dispersing of the rainy clouds by the east 
wind ; re-appearance of the covered hills and rocks, discovery of buildings da- 
maged by the water, pieces of wrecks, statues, sea-monsters, bones of men and 
beasts, ornaments and other remains appearing here and there out of the mud, 
plashes, and infinite other things removed by the force of the waves from one part 
of the earth to another, and washed from east to west ; all which I leave to the 
artist's discretion. 

But now it may be asked why I introduce Cupid, who, in Xaso's description, 
is not mentioned ; and I give this reason, that he being the eldest of the gods, 
and, ancording to Hesiod, brought forth of chaos and the earth, by him conse- 
quently all things are produced, according to the poets ; iherefore it is probable, 
that in this second creation he can be spared no less than in the first: Love was 
also the principal, nay the only passion, which these people preserved to each 
other after their great misfortune, and which they cherished by their simplicity 
and uprightness. 

Again, though they were aged, and near their ends, yet they were studying 
means to escape death, and to render their race immortal ; and who, of the gods, 
can contribute more to it than Cupid ? Must not Jupiter himself own hi> sovereign- 
ty ? Therefore, though the poet makes mention but of two persons, yet reason 
permits, nay, would have us bring this god into their company; especially since 
painters have the liberty to add new matter, and more figures for ornament-sake, 
when they are not repugnant to nature and likelihood ; for which Horace gives them 
full commission in his lyric song on poetry. 

Pictoribus alque pot lis 

Quidlibet audendi semper f nil eeqtta potestas. 

Tims paraphrased by Mr. Dn/den. 

Poets and painters, free from servile aue, 

May treat their subjects, and their objects draw. 

Add then freely, when the writer is silent, one or more figures to your work, 
not to gain mastery, or to excel, but to make the matter more plain and evident ; 
which in fables is very necessary, though in histories it must be done emblemati- 
cally only. 

After having entertained you with my conceptions of this story, give me leave to 
exhibit a representation of the same subject handled by another painter, not to 
rdiew the oddness, but the superfluity, impropriety, and ill-bestowed time, and the 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 59 

ignorance of presuming pedants, especially since contrary arguments frequently 
produce truth, and thereby shew the validity of a rule, which is Knelled at absurdi- 
ties. This painter's friends paying him a visit, he put his piece on the easel, ami 
thus entertained them : 

' Behold, gentlemen! here is a proof of my judgment and art: 1 call neither 
the learned, nor the virtuosi to unfold its meaning; no, an ignorant peasant caq 
tell it you at once. There is the world after the deluge, as natural as if it were 
alive; but, no wonder; for the ark is plainly discovered on the top of mount Par- 
nassus. Here you see the wonders of the heavens shut up, and the fountains of 
the earth stopped with a cork: there the sea runs high in a valley, and full of all 
sorts of wood-work, as tables, chairs, benches, paper-mills, and what not; be- 
sides some dead bodies, as well of women as men, one of them has a leather- 
apron, another a crown on his head, and another a night-cap. This, gentlemen, 
concerns only what is carried away by the water: but there on the land lies a 
camel, next him a silver salver, and by it a dead nightingale in a cage : here again 
you see the grave of Mahomet, and about it some scattered rolls of Virginia to- 
bacco ; and before, on that hillock, some cards and egg shells : but I had almost 
forgot the cardinal's cap, which lies there, and, I assure you, was painted with 
carmine; as also a scorpion, as natural as if it were alive: there, on the third 
ground, is a gallows, and under it three thieves, with the halters still about their 
necks : yonder is a chdd in his go-cart, half buried in the sand ; and there a sea-calf 
entangled in the boughs of a thicket ; besides some pickled herrings : moreover 
you see there a smush-pot, with some pencils and crayons ; as also a mass- 
priest in his surplice ; nay even the great Turkish horse tail : behold all the toys 
blown out of a Nuremberg toy-shop, scattered here and there ; there, by the old 
lantern, lies a drum, with its head turned to jelly by the water : I say nothing yet 
of that iron chest, in which are kept the records of the imperial chamber of judi 
cature at Spire ; nor of a hundred other things, besides houses and monasteries 
nay, the Vatican itself ; for all is turned into ruins and rubbish; no living crea- 
ture is to be seen but Deucalion and Pyrrha, and their three sous and their 
wives, all done to the life. r Now who will not take this to be a flood, and believe 
that all happened in this manner? Look there, I myself am sitting on the fore- 
ground, on a hillock, and modelling every thing after the life ; and there is my 
name and the date.'' 

Having said this, he stood much surprised to see they did not extol his fancy, 
and approve it, since he thought it so well executed. For my part, I think thai 
no one before him ever represented such out-of-the-way thoughts; many indeed 
have now and then erred ; but, being made sensible of it, they have rectified their mis- 

i 2 

CO Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

takes; whereas this whole composition was but one mistake; scripture jumbled 
with fable; Moses with Ovid; antiquity with novelty; a cardinal's cap, Vatican, 
cards, things found out a thousand years after, with antiquity : what is all this but 
a chaos of folly ? Methinks such an artist is like common chymists, who, to ex- 
tract gold, fling any thing into the crucible that will melt, drudging night and day, 
and wasting their substance to find at last, in the bottom of the devouring crucible, 
nothing but a little scum of I cannot tell what, an unknown nothing, without colour 
or weight i when a good chymist will get the true knowledge of metals, and their 
natures, tyc. in order to obtain the precious gold by art and labour: even so ought 
a painter also to obtain the knowledge of objects, and their natures, times, pro- 
perties, and uses, or else the substance of his art will evaporate. 

I have often observed, that superfluity, instead of rendering a thing more forci- 
ble and conspicuous, has lessened and obscured it ; and that too targe a ground, 
thinly filled, has no better effect ; we must therefore avoid this Sci/lln and Charibdis 
as two dangerous rocks. I cannot compare such proceedings better than to exces- 
sive poverty and profuseness of wealth; whether the one arise from an indolent, 
dull, and melancholy temper, or the other from a lively and too fertile a one, or that 
some men are superstitious imitators of other men's works ; as we see daily, in one 
the greatness of Caracci; in another, the fine colouring of Titian; in this, the grace- 
ful simplicity of Raphael; and in that the natural expression of Guido. This me- 
thod is indeed what some men are prone to, but let us consider the difference between 
modelling in clay, and cutting in marble. 

To return to our subject about the floods, let us make a comparison between them 
and Raphaels, in order to form a judgment : Raphael makes Noah and his family 
the principal characters in his composition : we do the same by Deucalion and his 
irifc; and the other contrarily exhibits them very dubiously, and too much out of 
si^ht in the distance; in Raphael's nothing is seen of what is laid waste by the wa- 
ter, or dead bodies, beasts, <§~c. in ours so much is visible, that the cause and the 
effects plainly appear; and, in the other, so meat a superfluity abounds, as if the 
whole world were contained in the single picture; in Raphael's is seen Noah's go- 
ing forth of the ark ; in ours Deucalion and Pyrrlia are landing out of the boat; 
hut the third has no name, since so much as a draining of the waters is scarce per- 
ceived ; wherefore 

/// medio seeuro, that is. 

Secure /re tread when neither foot is seen, 
Too high or tote, but in the golden mean. 

Let us therefore ponder and weigh thoroughly what we are about in such an im- 
portant composition, and then proceed to work as quick as possible. 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 01 



Having before said cursorily, that an excess of such figures often obscures their 
meaning, nay, rentiers them unintelligible, 1 think it proper to treat of this subject 
here, since they are of such frequent use and service, not only in handling fables, 
histories, and emblems, but in carving statues, and bas-reliefs for great men and their 

Ctesar Ripa's treatise of Icmology is questionless an excellent and useful book for 
all persons whose art has any relation to painting ; but, although it treat copiously 
of hieroglyphics, manners, passions, zeal, virtues, vices, &c. yet something is still 
required to the right use of that book, according to the occasion and difference of 
the subject, which by that great writer is not laid down ; since it is without dispute, 
that each figure must express no other passion than its oun ; but when they are used 
for by-works or ornament, to illustrate some principal real character, they must then 
subserve the i ads for which they are introduced; for instance, in a fight, victory 
should attend the conqueror ; honour or fame, an excellent man ; love, or Cupid, an 
amorous man ; the vindictive, revenge ; the hypocrite, falsehood ; the cancrous man, 
envy ; the innocent, innocence ; and such like. I omit others, as anger, madness, 
sorrow, modesty, boldness, authority, charity, temperance, cruelty, pain. Sec. because 
these have no share in some acts, nor come into play except they are used alone, and 
without the company of living persons, as the elements against each other, virtues 
against vices, and so forth. It is therefore of the greatest consequence for a painter, 
statuary, poet, or orator, to know these things thoroughly, and keep them in memory, 
which practice will make easy. 

I remember, that when 1 was under my father's instructions, and studying design, 
my inclination was for emblems, which 1 collected from his and other masters works, 
and then made entire compositions of them ; which, though trilling because of my 
youth and inexperience, yet surprised many, who advised my father to let me pursue 
that kind of study ; but, whether he thought me too young, or that I rather inclined 
to history, he diverted me from it as much as possible ; especially since it drew other 
masters disciples to see my odd productions, which he much disliked. But when 
my eldest brother brought me out of Italy Ccesar Ripas book, (which hitherto we 
were strangers to,) then my flame for emblematic learning broke out again. Bj (he 
help of this book I produced many and strange designs, which, for their singularity, 
were accounted as prodigies or dreams, by some out of spite against me, others 

62 Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 

through ignorance ; however, my proficiency was such, that it yielded me au annual 
profit, because the Jesuit scholars yearly bespoke of ine the embellishing of above 
one hundred and fifty of their positions or theses, with emblems, histories, or fables. 
in water-colours. Judge now, whether these my studies tended not to my advantage 
and improvement, and what honour was shewed me in preferring me to the employ, 
before my cotemporaries and fellow-disciples, and what little skill they must have in 
hieroglyphical learning, though I doubtless then made many mistakes. 

But leaving digressions, let us return to our subject, and illustrate it in the story 
of Dido's death; which we shall handle two different ways. 

1. Natural. 2. Emblematical. 

In the first manner we represent the queen in despair, and past hopes on a pile of 
wood, and, after sacrifice, stabbing herself; when Iris cuts off the fatal hair ; her 
sister attends the solemnity in tears and lamentation : all is in confusion, and every 
one affected with sorrow in a greater or less degree. — Thus far Virgil. 

In the second manner we shew how despair, accompanied by rage, is dragging love 
to the grave, with this inscription — Dido's Death. And so I designed it for the fron- 
tispiece of Monsieur Pel's tragedy on that subject. 

Now it is easy to see why, in the former manner, neither rage, nor despair, nor 
love attend the princess ; and in the latter, why, neither princess, by-standers, altar, 
nor pile of w ood, are introduced ; since in the first manner no aid is wanting, because 
each figure sufficiently acts its own part, and shews every thing which its passion 
naturally leads it to ; wherefore, it would be redundant, nay, obscure the sto r y, to 
double all the several motions, with the same passions and senses, by these figures ; 
whence it is that they can have no place. 

But where the subject is purely emblematic, and emblematic figures the principal 
characters, as in the second manner, they must come into play ; because each figure 
then expresses its natural quality, in order to clear and illustrate the sense of the 
story, without the addition of any body else. 

In this manner Apelles contrived his piece, on his being accused by Antiphilus; 
wherein he represents innocence pursued by rage, vice, lies, and slander, and dragged 
by them before an ignorant judge ; thus many things are couched under a single 
allegory : but when any particular person, man or woman, and their characters, 
shapes, countenances, &c. are burlesqued in this manner, then such a design may be 
called a pasquil. 

It is without dispute, that every man has but one predominant passion at a time 
which moves and governs him ; wherefore a prudent, generous, and valiant man, 
when he is doing a prudent act, may be accompanied by generosity and valour, but 
not with prudence, because that quality appears in his act : again, if in an attack he 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. ti.\5 

perform a valorous action, suc/i must appear in his person, and prudence and generosity 
only must accompany him ; if lie shew his generosity, as in restoring- captives without 
ransom, prudence and valour are sufficient to attend him, without the addition of gene- 
rosity. The case of a famous master is the same; for lie being possessed of several 
good qualities, as judgment, assiduity, quick conceptions, &c. if he be represented 
employed at his easel, those characters may at/ illustrate him, except assiduity, which 
.shews itself by his motion and posture: if a philosopher do a foolish thing, all other 
good qualities, should ornament him, except folly, because he is committing it. 

Such observations as these are worthy of notice, and without them an emblem can- 
not be good. This part of the art is very liable to censure, but yet few understand it, 
because the facts being always couched under uncommon appearances, are secrets 
to the vulgar, without explanation ; nevertheless, they should be so handled, that peo- 
ple of judgment, at least, may know their meanings, and the artist not be reproved. 

I remember to have seen a picture of Bacchus and Ariadne, wherein I observed a 
mistake, in placing sorrow and despair about the princess ; the latter was seen flying 
from her, which, in my opinion, was right and proper in the master; but our dispute 
was, whether the figure of sorrow had any business there. He justified it by very 
plausible reasons, saying, that although, by the presence of the compassionate god, 
her sorrow was at an end, yet it abated not suddenly ; because she was to give him 
a relation of her disaster, and then to wait for a favourable answer ; and so long sor- 
row must be with her. I have, says he, represented her with a sorrowful look, and 
tears in her eyes, pointing towards the sea at the perfidious Thesevs, the occasion of 
her sorrow ; Bacchus is attentive, whose upper garment is opened by Cupid; and 
because Ariadne knew not whom she had with her, man or god, love discovered his 
godhead, and made her sensible of his power. 

This piece was, in my judgment, fine; yet I think sorrow should have been left 
out of the composition, because, according to our position, no passion can act in two 
places at once ; for though the princess's countenance sufficiently shewed it; yet, as 
being overcome, it is taking its flight. 1 have seen more such mistakes, but it is no 
wonder ; for we are not born wise. 

In t'ne use of hieroglyphic figures for expressing the passions, consider, in an espe- 
cial manner, whether those passions work internally or externally; I mean, whether 
the or//,!)/ or motion of the body also shew sufficiently its predominant passion ; for a 
good-natured sedate man needs no auxiliary action to shew he is such ; because his 
countenance does it effectually. But when we desire to make known love and sor- 
row, which are internal affections of the soul, these must be expressed by means of 
hieroglyphic figures, and yet if the body be disturbed and moved by those passions, 
acting passion may be clearly perceived without hieroglyphics. 

64 Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 

Notwithstanding the necessity of this knowledge in all who have any relation to 
painting, yet many young statuaries imagine, that being generally concerned in carv- 
ing single figures only, it does not affect them. But they mistake ; for suppose they 
should be required to set off a figure with emblems, whether on a pedestal, or in a 
niche, in bass or whole relief, in order to blazon the qualities and virtues of the per- 
son it represents, they would be at a stand ; and the rather, as we see painters exhibit 
most of their emblematic figures in stone-work, in order to make a history clear. 
Now the statuary, not able to trust in his own strength, relies on the painter's aid to 
design him such and such thoughts ; which he sets his model, and so proceeds to 
work . 




After having sufficiently spoken how a figure ought, by its form, to express the 
passions, we are led to say somewhat touching the order or succession of its action ; 
for though in a story, the one oftentimes proceeds from the others, and reverts and falls 
back again, yet especial care must be taken, that they be not expressed and shewn all 
at the same instant of time; but that each wait for its proper turn and season. As if 
a gentleman should order his servant to beat any one ; three motions arise from hence, 
which cannot be performed at once, because the order must precede the hearing, and 
performance be the consequence. Again, it is preposterous, that a prince should 
stand in a commanding posture, at the same time as his servants are executing his 
commands. It would be as unnatural to frame the story of the woman catched in 
adultery, in this manner ; Christ is writing in the dust, while the people are sneaking 
away discontented and ashamed ; and (which is still worse) some provided with 
baskets of stones, either waiting on the second ground for the issue, or departing out 
of the temple; though our Saviour had not finished his writing, by which those pas- 
sions were to be raised. The incomparable Poussin possessed this conduct in a high 
degree; as may be seen in his picture of this story. When a general is spHting his 
army, each soldier obserus silence and attention while the harangue is making. 

In my juvenile years I painted the story of Progne, where, in revenge of her de- 
floured sister Philomela, she is shewing and casting at Tereus the head of his son, 
whose body is almost eaten up by him : at which, pursuing her in a rage, she was 
metamorphosed into a bird. I represented those outrageous women shewing him the 

Of Ordonnancc, or Composition , 65 

severed head : at which the king, transported with fury, rises from his seat with a 
drawn sword ; the table is overturned, and the drinking vessels, dishes, and other 
table-furniture, lie broken to pieces about the floor, and the wine spilt at their feet ; 
and yet I made the women keep their standing, holding - the head. To reconsider 
this story, it is natural to think, that in the beginning the tyrant sat quietly at the 
tahle, ignorant of what was doing ; afterwards the women entered the room, shewing 
him the child's head cut off, attended with speeches proper to the occasion ; which 
put him first out of countenance, and then piercing his heart, he furiously arose from 
table and overturned it; and, drawing his sword in order to pursue them, he pushed 
down every thing in his way: notwithstanding all which rage and disturbance, the 
women remain in the same posture and station as when they came in. You may 
easily perceive my oversight and improper treating this story. It is true, indeed, that 
all the different motions were sudden and quickly successive, yet she kept the head 
too long in her hand, to throw it on the table after it was overturned. In all like- 
lihood, at the end of her speech, she must have thrown down the head, and taken to 
flight as soon as Tereus made the least offer for rising; and then must follow her 
metamorphosis, and she be off the ground. I conceive, therefore, that the table 
ought to have been still standing ; and she, after the head was thrown up, to be fly- 
ing; and, to shew her inhumanity, with a sword or chopping-knife in one hand, and 
menacing with the other. But I pass on to shew my cooler thoughts in another ex- 
ample, being the fable of Apollo and the dragon Python. 

This composition exhibits a wild prospect ; on the right side, on the second ground 
in a low morass, is seen the frightful monster Python (said to be engendered of the 
vapours and exhalations of the earth) lying half in and half out of the plash, laden 
with arrows ; some people standing on a near hill are viewing him, stopping their 
noses because of the stench. On the left side, where the ground rises higher, a 
round temple appears, and the statue of Apollo, with various conditions of men wor- 
shipping, sacrificing, rejoicing, skipping, and dancing. About the morass or plash 
stand some withered trees, pieces of ruins, and scattered bones of devoured men 
and beasts. Behind the aforesaid rising, in the offskip, are seen cottages, the near 
ones ruined, those more distaut from the monster less damaged. On the fore ground 
the insulting archer is seen leaning on his bow% and with his quiver at his back 
empty ; he stands daring and haughtily on his left leg, tossing his head backwards 
towards his right side and the light, and, with his left hand extended, and a scornful 
smile, he is putting by Cupid, who, with his scarf flying behind, soars aloft from him, 
and, with anger in his looks, nods his head, shewing him an arrow with the point up- 
wards, as if he were saying, — You shall soon feci this jwint. Behind Phabus, or 
Apollo, stands a large palm-tree, and by it an oak, against the trunk of which he sets 

VOL. I. K 

66 Of Qrdomiance, or Composition. 

his back ; his head is adorned with oak and other leaves. Forwards I ought to re- 
present a brook, wherein he is partly seen by the reflection of the water; his dress 
is a golden coat of armour, and a purple garment hanging down behind him. 

A second Composition, from the Story of Apollo and Daphne. 

No sooner had Apollo cast his eyes on Daphne, but he fell in love with her ; his 
eager passion made him pursue her, in order to make her sensible of it; hereupon 
Cupid, after having touched Daphne's heart with a cool arrow, pierced Apollo's with 
a hot one; Daphne, insensible of what is doing, is talking with some water-nymphs, 
who lie with their pots on the bank of a clear stream. She stands in the sun in a 
fronting position, with her quiver hanging at her naked back ; she beholds the 
nymphs, with a down and lovely look, over her left side ; her left hip rises ; 
her left hand is airily under her breast, with the palm outwards; in her right 
hand she holds her bow above the middle, which somewhat supports her, open- 
ing her elbow from her, whereby the hollow of her body on that side is filled up; 
her garment is girt short under her breast, being fastened with a ribbon on her left 
shoulder, and with a button at knee ; the side flappets are tucked under a girdle 
coming over her hip, the ends hanging down ; from her head-ornament, buttoned up, 
her light tresses hang down on both sides with a lovely flow over the shoulders. 
Behind her along the water-side (which, after partly running towards the point of 
sight, alters its course) is standing a white marble oblong stone, three or four feet 
high, adorned with bas-reliefs, against which stone her ground-shade falls: on it lies 
a water-nymph on her left side, fore-shortened ; she is resting on her elbow, and, with 
the left hand under her cheeks, is looking at Daphne; the nymph's lower parts are 
covered with a blue scarf, which sets off the naked upper parts of Daphne. Daphne's 
garment is apple-blossom colour, little darker than the naked, with violet reflections ; 
along the water-side stands willows for repose of the nymphs. On the briuk of the 
river, to the left, is a rocky mountain, full of risings from bottom to top, between' 
which the foamy water runs and descends. On the right side Apollo is seen (between 
the point of sight and where the ground rises high with rude steps) coining full of 
amazement sideways from it ; he stoops forward, his left hand resting on a crook or 
Stafi ; his right foot slowly put forth, just touching the ground with his toes ; his 
breast almost meets his left knee; his right elbow is drawn back ; his op: n hand is 
up at his ear; his face in profile, and his eyes starting at Daphne; a liery arrow en- 
ters his breast; his garment is of coarse light-grey stuff, two ends of which button 
under his chin, and the others, from under his arms, tucked in his girdle itefore, 
where also sticks a shepherd's flute ; on his head a blue cap, turned up before, and 
wrinkle on top ; his breast somewhat inclines to the light, and his right thigh is seen 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 67 

in full length. The light proceeds from the right; the hill on that side is upright 
like a wall ; the steps parallel or fronting ; on the left the hill makes a rugged slope, 
and, everywhere over-run with variety of wild shrubs and herbs, it tills up almost 
the right side of the picture, running up high by the point of sight; projecting over 
the way, which is very low, it give a ground-shade there, which takes half the way 
to the stone behind Daphne ; and beyond it is another ground-shade, running be- 
tween some high trees behind the hill. The distance, on the left side, discovers a 
fine fabric, being the palace of King Admetus ; near which some cattle are grazing 
in the field. Cupid is flying towards the hill, looking back at Apollo. 

If it be asked, how we shall know this to be Apollo ; I answer, by his beautiful 
air and golden locks, his lovely aspect, and the devoir with which he is viewing the 
nymph, and by the arrow with which the flying Cupidhds pierced him. Besides, I 
do not know that Ovid's Metamorphoses affords any such representation of a shep- 
herd thus enamoured with a nymph ; for, it must be observed, that Apollo was at that 
time expelled heaven, and bereft of his godly ornaments, the purple garments, sun- 
rays, management of the chariot of the sun, the lyre, and the like; and got his living 
by feeding cattle for king Admetus. 

I represent Daphnes conversation among the Naiades (I think) not improperly, 
since the river-god Peneus was her father, whom I leave out of the story, because his 
paternal authority would not suffer her to entertain such kind looks ; for he disliked 
her manner of living, and would have her marry ; which she disapproved ; where- 
fore, to shew her aversion for men, I have introduced none but virgins. I have also 
not given to Apollo a crown of oak-leaves, because improper to a shepherd, but a 
blue woollen cap ; a dress better suiting that condition, since now he is no more 
Phoebus, but Apollo. 

This story is seldom attempted by painters. 

Third Composition relating to Apollo and Daphne. 

Here Apollo is pursuing the object of his love, running, and at the same time 
entreating her; her countenance discovers fear; and, seeing him so near her, she 
endeavours to shun him. stopping short, and taking another way; she fears neither 
thorn-bushes nor rugged ways, but runs swiftly over all. He pursues, but not with 
intention to seize her ; because he has one hand on his breast, and with the other he 
casts away his staff, skimming over the ground behind him; his blue cap is blown 
off his head, towards the way whence he came ; his head is fluug back and sideling, 
to demonstrate that he is entreating her ; and she is looking back at him ; his 
aspect fiery, his eyes flaming, but to no purpose; for she contrarily, though tired 
and sweaty, is pale and wan, her face dry, eye-brows knit, mouth raised in the mid- 


68 -Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

die with the corners downwards like a half moon, to shew her pain ; she lifts her 
extended arms towards heaven, quite exceeding the poize of her body ; the quiver 
at her back is flying back, and the arrows scattered along the way ; she holds her 
unbent how in her chilled left hand. Apollo, in the pursuit, has catched a flap of 
her garment as her feet take root ; her body is toward him, but her face towards 
heaven, struggling with approaching death. Her eager lover (as yet insensible of 
this) thinking she is now in his power, hopes for victory. But here I mean not to 
shew her standing still, but to run further by striving to disengage her rooted feet 
and toes, which she imagines are only retarded by Apollo; wherefore she flings her 
head back, discovering her fears by loud shrieks ; at which moment her metamor- 
phosis begins. It is not improper to shew a long and winding way by which they 
come ; and, in the offskip, the nymphs, by the white marble stone, looking after her; 
one of them shades her eyes from the sun with her hand ; others are wonderiug, 
others mutually embracing. Behind them are seen the mounts Cyt heron and Helicon 
rearing their heads to the clouds; and behind Daphne, between some trees, is a term 
of Mercury, if then in being, otherwise that of Diana her mistress. Her dress is as 
before. Apollo and Daphne's course is against the sun ; she is seen backwards, her 
right leg forward, and the left, lifted high, seems to turn to the right, to take that 
way ; he, contrarily somewhat stooping with his left leg forward, and his right 
behind, just off the ground, is turning to the left, tracing her steps like a hound 
coursing a hare, which, stopping short, takes a new way. 

Sequel of the Story of Apollo and Daphne. 
Daphne, unable to run further, at last remains fixed to the earth, often striving 
to unroot her feet, but in vain ; a rough bark now covers her legs and half her 
thighs, and a deadly chill congeals her blood ; her fluttering soul seems to be 
leaving her, sighing for the last time : she stands on the left side of the point of 
sight, on the fore ground; the upper part of her body, arms and head are still entire; 
her quiver in disorder, recedes a little from the point of sight to the left; the under 
part of her body fronts the light ; her right hip rises; her legs twining unite below, 
just under the knees, into a single stem; her breast standing out is fronting; her 
head turned to the left droops over her left breast; her eyes are half closed ; her 
mouth, almost shut, discovering still some faint signs of pain, her cheeks are pale, 
but her lips violet ; her head is full of branches, and so filled with leaves sprouting 
out on all sides, that they shade the face, and half her bosom. Before her, a little to 
the left, a large oak rises, which she embraces with her left arm, against which her 
head is leaning. Her dress is as before. Apollo, now at the end of his hopes, 
bursts into lamentations moaning her hard fate, but chiefly his own hot inclinations, 

Of Ordotinance, or Composition. 69 

the cause of both ; he stands on her right Bide, with his right leg on the second 
ground, his foot hid by the hollow of the way, and his left leg on the first ground, 
with the foot close to the stem ; his head a little backward, leaning to the right side, 
and his face towards heaven; he extends his right arm, with the palm of the hand 
outwards, as far as he can reach, feeling under her left breast to see whether her 
heart still beat or not ; his right hand is oft' from him quite open ; the flap of his gar- 
ment, loos- on the left side, hangs down behind. On the right side, from behind the 
ground, a water-god comes running with wonder ; above whom appears Atropos, or 
Fate, with her distaff and scissars; she is seen from behind and fore-shortened, 
soaring high towards the right side of the picture. The sky abounds with driving- 
clouds. The mount Parnassus appears off on the right side, as also the river running 
behind it towards the point of sight; on the bank of which river some beasts are 
drinking. Halfway up the mount is seen a small round temple of the goddess 
Themis; before the frontispiece of which stand an oak and a linden-tree; and, in 
the lointain, almost on the horizon, the town and royal castle of Admetus; the rest 
is field, in the middle of which a shepherd is sitting on the grass, and another stand- 
ing by him, who points at the castle, at which the other is looking with wonder; 
Cupid talking with Atropos, is flying along with her. Behind the oak should be 
seen a part of the before mentioned term. 

The Conclusion of the Story of Apollo and Daphne. 

When Apollo had finished his prophecy, Daphne gave a nod, as a token of her 
assent to it ; but while he is gazing at her mouth, he sees her no more ; the tree alone 
(on which her bow and quiver hang) must now be his comfort ; he sighing and 
lamenting went to lean against the oak, which was half withered, old, and rent, his 
elbow in one hand, and his face supported by the other; his legs across; in this pos- 
ture he remains awhile musing and silent. The water-nymphs are sitting round 
about, one on her urn reversed ; another on the ground near him ; another is embrac- 
ing Daphne's unhappy body, looking up at the leaves, and seeming to address her, 
who now is no more. Another, standing by, is raising her shoulders, dropping her 
folded hands, and head hanging. An old shepherd is pulling Apollo by the skirt of 
his dress, but he does not regard it. In fine, nothing is seen but universal disorder, 
sorrow, and wonder; the gods and people are flocking from all parts to view this 
new sort of creature, to wit, Dryadvs, Satyrs, and Hunting-nymyhs, some with re- 
spect, others with amazement, others with joy ; the universal mother, Earth herself, 
stands in surprise. To conclude this fable, I must add this remark, as not foreign 
to Apollo's prophecy. That the laurel in times to come should serve for a token of 

70 Of Ordonndnce, or Composition. 

victory, and adorn the brows of conquerors, instead of oak-leaves, and that, in 
memory of Daphne, those should be sacred to him above all others. 

Here, Valour, or Hercules, appears with his lion's skin and club ; to whom Victory, 
resting against a laurel-tree, is offering a garland with one hand, and pulling off a 
branch with the other ; in her arms is her trophy. 

Memory sits by the aforesaid tree, on an eminence, recording in a book the actions 
of the hero ; Saturn shews her Hercules. On the second ground, by a morass, lies 
the bodv of Hydra, with some heads struck off', and others burnt black. 



-Lhis noble art having been the esteem of all ages, as numerous writers testify, it is 
certain, that nothing so pleasingly flatters the eye as a picture viewed in its full 
lustre ; but in all things there is an Use and Abuse, and so it happens in painting. 

The Use lies in executing noble and edifying subjects ; as fine histories, and 
emblems moral and spiritual, in a virtuous and decent manner; so as at once to 
delight and instruct. Thus the art gains its lustre. 

The Abuse appears in treating obscene and vicious subjects ; which disquiet the 
mind, and put modesty to the blush : he, who follows this method, can never expect 
the reward of virtue (which, Horace says, is an immortal name) but rather eternal 
infamy. We shall consider the matter in both respects. 

When historians treat a history, they seldom pass over any circumstance, though 
ever so indecent ; nay, though it be entirely evil, poets do the same in their fictions, 
but in a worse degree ; because a flattering tale easily ruffles, often misleads the 
mind of a reader. In fine, it were to be wished, that, when such liberties are taken, 
(which should never be without absolute necessity) naked truth were either veiled, 
or cast into shade, in order to prevent unlawful desires. 

But if a discourse can thus captivate the heart, how much more must the eye be 
attracted by a painting? since the sight affects the senses in a greater degree, espe- 
cially when the subject is vicious : what honour would a master get by painting the 
good man Noah, wallowing obscenely in liquor? and would it be a less crime than 
Cham 's mocking him ? he did it only to his brothers, who, turning away their faces, 
covered their father with their garments, in order to hide his nakedness ; whereas 
the painter exposes him to all the world. It is as indecent to shew Potiphars wife, 
naked on the bed, in an unseemly posture, enticing Joseph, though it was a private 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 1\ 

fact, and not attended with the worst circumstances. Nttr Mk Michael Angelo Buo- 
nuroti more to be commended, in exhibiting his Leda quite naked, with the swan ; a 
circumstance certainly that he might have omitted. Is it not to be lamented, that 
since there is such a fund of matter for fine designs, \irtues as well as vices, whence 
we may draw good morals, sober masters will commit such scandalous faults, and 
execute them so harefaced and circumstantially, that they want nothing but smell ; 
As Horace intimates, 

Nam frustra Vitiuni vitaveris ilhid, 
Si tc alio pravum delorseris. 

Bui, . . ' Mis unlawful subject, as unworthy of an artist, let us proceed to shew 

the tokens oi a i;ood picture. 

Writing printed is more intelligible than the scrawl of an indifferent penman ; and so 
it is with a picture ; if the story be well expressed, and each object answer its character-. 
uith respect to the story, time arid occasion, tearing -naked, or clothing the figures, 
which ought to be so, such an ordonnance may justly be called a speaking picture : 
but it is otherwise with paintings governed by whim, and void of likelihood ; the 
former picture explains itself at first view, and the latter is a dark riddle, in need of 

Is it not sufficient to shew Diana with a moon on her head, Venus with her star, 
and Flora with her chaplet of flowers ; for we should also shew their distinguishing 
qualities and characters, still regarding their head-ornaments, and when they must 
be decked, and when not. Doubtless in every country, except among savages, are 
to be found good laws and manners, and three principal times for dressing, especially 
among the women, whose attire, morning and night, is plain and loose, but at noon 
set out. 

It is no wonder, that among the crowd of excellent masters, few make trite deco- 
rum a maxim in their works, since their opinions are so various, and governed either 
by their degree of skill or inclination ; one thinks it lies in the harmony or con- 
junction of lights and shades ; another in the composition of colours, and those al- 
together broken ; a third, in chusing the colours as beautiful as possible; another, 
in great force ; another, in airy reflections, &c. But, let them fancy what they please, 
none of these parts will alone constitute a becoming picture, how simple soever; 
much less a complete ordonnance of figures, landscape, architecture, flowers, cattle, 
&c. For instance, of what worth is a composition of figures, where all the postures 
and airs are alike? of a landscape, where, in the boscage, we see no difference or 
variety in the bodies of trees, leafing or colouring ? in architecture the same ; but 
how decorous must a cattle-piece be, when we see the qualities of the animals well 

72 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

expressed ! some smooth, others rough, hairy or woolly. True decorum then pro- 
ceeds from a conjunction of all the particulars above-mentioned, and a great force of 
light, shade, and reflection, and a harmony of colours as well beautiful as broken, 
and the whole managed according to rule, and agreeing with nature. 

If we will weigh these things, we shall soon perceive that the fault is often our 
own, and that it is in our power to arrive at perfection if we want not ambition to 
excel, and do not undertake things above our capacities. Ultra vires nihil aggre- 

Many excellent masters have mistaken the mark; Ars longa, Vita brevis, say 
many ; but it is a poor pretence for an artist. If it be true, that you endeavour to 
gain this decorum, alter yovr particular inclination as soon as possible: be as careful 
in the least as the greatest circumstances, of your picture; reason diligently with 
yourself at vacant times ; for though scarce any one is to be found alike skilful in all 
the branches, yet it is not impossible to be so ; in short, if it is not in your power to 
bestow extraordinary time to advantage, be at least so prudent as not to bring any 
thing into your compositions which you cannot justify. 



JL/iligence and a proper talent, in conjunction with prudence, may gain riches; 
sudden wealth is not so stable as that got by degrees ; the former is the effect of 
desire and luck, the latter, of prudence. 

I think that master resolves best, who considers in the course of his study of any 

1. Whether his fortune and well-being depend on one particular person, or on the 
body of the people. 

2. Whether it be not more advisable to accommodate himself to the occasions and 
tempers of the people, than to confine himself to his particular inclination. 

Lastly, how his studies may be sometimes enriched with variety of new matter. 

He is, I say, a prudent artist who, weighing these premises betimes, as quickly 
put them in execution ; especially since the world is best pleased with variety and 
novelty, which spur them to love, inclination, and desire : what can subsist without 
variety? is a cook, who can dress but one dish, and one way, to be compared with 
him who can do several ? 

Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 73 

We have many sad instances of excellent masters, who, through obstinacy, have 
drudged in poverty and sat down in want, rather than go against their custom : 
if the master painted figures he confined himself to he and she saints ; if landscape, 
nothing but wildernesses and deserts; if flowers, nothing but flower-pots ; if seas, 
nothing but storms and tempests ; if architecture, nothing bnt grottos and ruins : 
it is true, that it is more commendable to excel in one branch than to be indifferent 
in many ; but as true, that variety of food causes new gusto : in short, making a 
virtue of necessity, we are obliged to alter our notions, and submit them to seasons 
and occasions. 

We shall now proceed to inquire and observe, what ready and constant materials 
each artist, in his practice, has occasion for ; and whether those be copious enough ; 
and lastly, what are proper to each branch. 

The general fund consists, 

First, in the variety of passions and designs. 

Secondly, In pleasing new matter, moving to love, as the proverb says, Kon 
sujficit unus ; wherefore variety and novelty are necessary ; but I mean not, that it 
should appear in every piece we do; but now and then, occasionally, in order to 
please and retain the curious. 

Lastly, It must be considered, whether there can be found such a constant flow 
of novelty, as the particular study of the artist calls for, and wherein it consists ; 
some principal instances of which, from whence may be deduced an infinity, I 
shall here subjoin ; as for the figure-painter there are not only he and she saints, 
but also philosophers, prophets, and prophetesses or sybils, eminent men and 
women, as well in policy as warfare, monarchs, lawgivers, statesmen, and ecclesi- 
astics ; the four parts of the world; the five senses; and innumerable other re- 
markable persons and objects : judge, then, whether there be not matter enough for 
those who would go greater lengths than to spend years, nay, their whole lives, in 
single figures. In landscape what a field is there for variety, besides wildernesses 
and deserts ? As delightful lawns, beautiful inclosures, rivers and cascades, rocks 
and caves, pyramids, burying places and tombs, and places of public exercise ; 
plantations of trees, country houses, sports of shepherds ; sacrifices and baccha- 
nalia ; and all these varied by being made fronting, in profile or in rear, sometimes 
with a high, at others a low horizon ; sometimes in sunshine, at others in moon- 
light; to which add, beasts, birds, &c. For sea-painters, remarkable accidents, 
as well ancient as modern, sacred and profane stories, fables and daily occur- 
rences : some of them may be these: — Christ walking on the sea, and Peter, fishing 
in a boat, is calling out to him ; Christ asleep in a ship in a storm, and awaked by 
the people; a sea coast with ships riding at anchor, and other?, both men of war 

VOL. I. L 

74 Of Ordonnunce, or Composition. 

and merchantmen, under sail ; an engagement between merchantmen and pirates, 
Turkish and Algerine rovers; sea-ports, with trading merchants; releasement of 
slaves; sea-triumphs, the Venetian ceremony of marrying the sea in the JBucentavr; 
a sea-shore with Helen ravished by Paris ; Coronis pursued on the stand by Nep- 
tune: Polyphemus and Galathea ; king Ceyx and Alcoyne ; Ulysses tied to the mast 
of his ship on account of the Siren's song; JEncas flying with his father Anchises ; 
piracy ; unloading of ships ; morning and evening sun-shine, and moon-light ; 
calms, impending storms, &c. But none of the branches afford greater variety 
than architecture; as well inward as outward ; besides ruins and innumerable by- 
works for ornament, what an abundance of beautiful temples, palaces, frontispieces, 
galleries, triumphal arches, colonades, pleasure-houses of elegant taste and co- 
lour, spring from the Jive orders? Also termes, niches with figures, balustrades 
adorned with lions and lionesses, sphinxes and other ornaments of porphyry, 
free stone, copper gilt, and other ornamental stone; to which add, the great di- 
versity arising from the ornaments of gold, silver, and marble, bass-reliefs, paintings, 
hangings, alcoves, pavillions, cabinets; in fine, nothing can be imagined, that the 
painter of architecture cannot make his own : and the proper designs iu painting 
may be, Solomon praying for wisdom ; the queen of Sheba with Solomon ; the nup- 
tials of Joseph and Mary: Christ among the Pharisees; Mark Anthony and 
Cleopatra; the murther of Julias Ccesar ; Solon with Cra?siis; the goddess Vesta 
appearing before the entrance of the Pantheon, to curb the insolent attempt of 
the people to violate her ; Hcrsc and other virgins going to the temple of Flora, 
and Mercury, in love, hovering follows her; Mercury and Herse in her bedchamber, 
&c. Other inward and outward decorations may be sacrifices in temples, court- 
stories, and occurrences in palaces, halls, and apartments (some of which we 
have elewhere shewn) besides consults, grand entertainments, plays, visits, witch- 
craft, ghosts, delightful appearances, &c. As to the jiower-paiuter, what can be 
more pleasant and agreeable than flowers in their great variety, beautiful air, and 
colour? A sight which never tires, though but in painting : I confine them not 
to a single flower-pot ; for they may be variously disposed ; wreathed as garlands ; 
or made into festoons and groups; or loose in baskets; sometimes intermixed with 
grapes, apricots, peaches, cherries, grains of paradise, &c. according to the sea- 
sons; which may be expressed by busts of copper and all sorts of marble, and by 
bass-reliefs ; besides the five senses : add, for variety, notable leafing, as laurel, 
cypress, oak ; and sometimes to the fruit, corn, turnips, carrots, pumpkins, melons, 
walnuts, figs, &c. Proper designs for this branch may be these: — for the spring, 
Venus Adonis in courtship, set off with children and flowers ; for the summer, 
Pomona and Flora with flowers and fruit; for autumn, Pomona and Vertumnus, iu 
a summer-house. 

Of Ordomunicc or Composition. 75 

I think it needless to descend lower, since there is no subject, how mean soever, 
which cannot be sufficiently enriched with something new. 

But perhaps a landscape painter may say, I understand nothing but my own 
branch ; birds or beasts I never studied : another may say, still-life is my practice, 
landscapes, figures, or cattle, I never touched.* A poor excuse! Since for many 
infirmities help may be found; as for short sight, spectacles ; for lameness, crutches ; 
for deafness, an ear-nine, and so forth ; borrowing from fine paintings, and from 
prints and drawings (these latter are always to be had) is in such case no reproach ; 
moreover we may, without hurt to our honour, employ a skilful hand, if he con- 
forms to the subject and sense we are handling. 

It is remarkable that pieces painted by two masters seldom or never answer the 
intention of the composer, the distinction appearing either in force, handling, or 
colour ; but this is no wonder, when each of them follows his own gusto and 
manner, without any regard to the other, as if the assistant's share in the work 
were as great as that of his employer. When a general finds himself too weak 
for an enterprise he calls in somebody to assist him, but not to command; so we 
painters, when we need an assistant, intend not to shew what he can do for his 
own credit, but that he should work in conformity to the composer's direction 
and purpose. 

But we shall consider an assistant's qualifications, and how he ought to accom- 
modate himself: he should be skilful in perspective, colouring, and penciling; by 
perspective, to give more or less force, with regard to the composer's manner : by 
colouring, that his be more or less beautiful ; and that in penciling, his be agreeable 
with the other's. If the piece be tenderly and naturally handled, the by-works 
must also be kept tender and well finished ; if the piece have a light and bold 
inauner, the by-works must have the same; so that the whole work, getting thereby 
a general decorum, seems to be all of one hand. This is so necessary a conduct 
in an assistant, that his service cannot otherwise be said to be of any use to us; 
nay, granting him to be a greater master in fame than his employer, he ought to take 
care that his work do not predominate, a fault which would disserve them both ; 
and, when this fault is heightened by ignorance or malice, the majesty and elegance 
of a fine composition is lost, and the work subjected to. the scoff of the curious, 
as I have divers times experienced. 

* It is a great misfortune to the, practice '.of painting in this country, at present, 
/hat each professor confines himself so nearly to a single branch of if, as to be almost 
a stranger to any object not closely connected uith it. E. 

l 2 

76 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 



JL have been long in suspense whether I might, without being taxed with pre- 
sumption, offer to public -view my reveries about the general tables or ordonnances 
which spring from refined judgment, and are of important use to curious artists 
and poets, as well to exercise their pens as pencils : but at last presuming, that 
the product of my weak abilities would not give offence, I pursued my intentions. 
Imperfect as they are, I shall be at least pleased, rf my endeavours give a handle 
for better inquiries. 

It is agreed, that a fable or a picture is the representation of some fact, either 
with the pen or pencil. A poem is a short and plain account of the most material 
circumstances ; shewing the true cause from whence the fact proceeds. 

Three qualities are necessary to a good poet. 1. An exact acquaintance with 
history, and the best authors. 2. Good knowledge in antiquities. Lastly, an easy 
and delicate poesy ; to which add, an agreeable style, by which, after having 
weighed what materials and passions are proper, he disposes every thing in a con- 
secutive order, and the most perspicuous manner. 

Grace is as necessary in poesy as harmony of colours in painting ; but though 
all the aforesaid beautiful qualities be well observed, yet they cannot produce a 
perfect ordonnance without the aid of the rules of painting: for a fine history of 
great personages, accompanied with elegant by-ornaments, in a delightful country, 
unartfully disposed, is so far from perfection, that it cannot have the utmost grace, 
though it were the life itself. Much may be said for a subject well treated ; but 
more for an ordonnance of a skilful master, painted according to the laws of art, 
which make even crookedness seem straight. 

I shall now treat of the nature, force, and quality of tables, or ordonnances (as 
necessary for landscape as history-painters) and therein consider, 

]. Their kinds. 2. Their names. 3. Which of them have double uses, and 
Avhich have single. 

I suppose four kinds, viz. historical, poetic, moral, and hieroglyphic : the first is a 
simple and true fact : the second, a double fiction, exhibiting fabulous stories, or a 
mixture of deities and mortals : the third has a threefold moral ; teaching our duty 
to God, our neighbour, and ourselves : and the last is fourfold, as couchinc;, under 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 77 

a short and mysterious sense, the three before going : handling virtue and vice for 
the benefit of soul and body, and shewing the happiness and immortality of the one, 
and the corruption of the other. 

In history the poet or painter ought entirely to confine himself to truth, without 
addition or abatement; his ornaments, though borrowed from poesy, must be so 
restrained, that nothing, serving for illustration, create impossibility; for instance, 
not to represent day-break by the poetic figure of Aurora; or the night, by Diana; 
or the sea, by Neptune; which is needless, and an error, because those things can 
be naturally expressed by colours ; as day-break, by its appearance of yellow, red, 
and blue, or by the sun-rays appearing on the horizon ; the night, by its darkness, 
and by the moon and stars ; the sea, by its waves and billows, rocks, monsters, and 
shells on the shore; also the Nile, by its crocodiles, &c. or any thing proper to the 
sea or rivers. 

The poetic picture differs from the historical in this; that, instead of true story T 
they consider fictions only, intermixing deities with mortals, as we have said; and 
thereby signify nothing else, but the course of the world through the four elements, 
as air, earth, fire, and water ; and, though historically handled, yet each is a simple 
figure, having a mystic meaning, either in name or shape, and often in both ; as Scilla, 
Atlas, Lccla, Cyclops, and many others : and thus the fable, being both philosophic 
and moral, in one and the same manner prescribes virtue and decries vice ; as we 
gather from Ovid, Virgil, and others. It is necessary, therefore, in designing such 
an ordonnance, to keep entirety to the/able, as before is said, without any addition 
of hieroglyphic figures, as temperance, prudence, anger, jealousy, &c. which are 
so improper here, as hereafter shall be shewn, that they destroy the very intent 
of it; for there are others, which (though in a different manner) will express 
the same passions; as Cupid instead of love ; Pallas, instead of wisdom, and many 
others, as we collect from the poets. 

The moral pictures are true facts, or histories, proposed only for edification or 
instruction; exhibiting either the gallant acts, or crimes, of human nature; and 
these explained by some additional emblematic figures, which express the passions 
by which they were moved, or misled ; for instance, with Alexander we may place 
ambition; next Marcus Aurclius, humanity; next Augustus, piety; next Scipio 
Africanus, his moderation, in restoring the young captive bride to her spouse, and 
many others, as Horace in his emblems artfully exhibits. In this sort of pictures 
we are noways confined to time, the suu's place, or the quality of the country ; 
for we may intermix summer with winter, even all the elements may appear; the 
subject may be in the front of the picture in Africa ; and, in the distance, at Rome, 
or elsewhere ; even in hell itself another scene may be acting ; so great a latitude 

78 Of Ordonndnce, or Composition. 

has a moralist : hut he must take care to avoid superfluity, and tilings improper to 
the main action, which, as in plays, spoil the bean ty of the representation. 

The hieroglyphic pictures are quite different from the three former in their na- 
ture and quality, having no other affinity with them than iutention to exalt virtue, 
and debase vice, by the rewards of the one, and the punishment of the other: they 
are as well Christian as heathen ; the Christian affect the souls, and the heathen the 
body : the former demonstrate the immortality of the soul, and the latter shew the 
vicissitude and vanity of the world. These pictures consist in assembling several 
emblematic figures of different passions, which altogether are to express a single 
meaning: as piety, peace, war, love, &c. And such compositions are called em- 
blems, by their applications and emblematic use, and by being made up of com- 
pounded Objects which have their proper meaning and relation, or else deviates from 
them : as the palm tree, laurel, cypress, myrtle, or the sun, moon, and stars, or an 
hour-glass, a daft, flame, &c. which signify any power, virtue, or extraordinary 
effect. These pictures, like the preceding, admit not of the least superfluity to 
obscure their significations; because haung neither history nor fable to huild on, 
they consist only of a single passion, proceeding from the subject (which may be 
at oUr own choice) explained and made intelligible by the other emblematic figures, 
which must not be improperly introduced, lest the sense of the whole scene be 
altered : but here we must observe to make a distinction between Heathen and 
Christian representations ; the Heathen admit of Venus, Cupid, or Anteros, for love ; 
the Christian shews charity, or a woman with children about her, and a flame on 
her head ; the former has Hercules, for fortitude, and the latter, St. Michael; the 
one takes Jupiter with his thunder, and the other, justice; the former expresses 
piety by a woman with an oblation bowl in her hand, and near her an altar with a 
crane, and the latter chooses a cross instead of the bowl : but all this is uncertain, 
and not confiued to time or climate. 

Being well apprized of these things, we obtain the best and surest method for de- 
signing any kinds of pictures, how abstruse soever; nay, be your design ever so 
single, it will always afford plentiful matter to furnish out and enrich a large and 
capital composition ; as I shall shew in the following description, though but in part, 
as leaving out the city of Athens in the distance, a river with swans, Fate in the air, 
or Mercury flying along with Atropos, &c. We read of the Greek philosopher 
JEschylus, that, as he sat meditating in the field, he was killed by a tortoise dropped 
by an eagle on his bald pate; which mournful accident I handle thus : — A little to 
the left from the point of sight I place the unfortunate old man, on a small emiuence, 
with a pen in his hand, and a book in his lap ; he is fallen on his right thigh (which 
is foreshortened) with his legs across, and one of them extended to the left, his upper 

Of Orclomuince, or Composition. 79 

parts hending, and inclining' somewhat to the right ; his head is in profile and down- 
wards ; he Mings his right hand sideways from him. the pen almost touching the 
ground, and liis left is open over bis head ; the tortoise falls souiew hat sloping, head- 
loii most along by his left ear; and his book is tumbling out of his lap to the left ; 
over his head, a little more to the left, (where hi- garment is under him.) hovers the 
eagle, looking downwards; at the corner of a stone, (six inches high, and covered with 
a part of the aforesaid garment) running towards the point of sight, is an inkhorn, 
and some rolled papers, and his cap. This is the substance of the composition : in 
the distance, where the ground to the right lies tow, 1 shew a pyramid, and near it 
a shepherdess sitting by a young shepherd, who is standing, and otters her a bowl 
of water, or milk ; up and down are cattle grazing, and nearer (behind the fore 
ground) it would not be amiss to shew another man, who, passing by, and hearing 
the philosopher's cry, does, in surprise, look back at him, swaying the upper part of 
his body (which is almost naked to the waist) to the left. The philosopher is plainly 
drest in a long vestment, and a flappet of his upper garmeut, whereon he sat, comes 
under his right thigh ; the vestment is dark violet, and the garment light fillemot; 
the stone, whereon the garment lies, is bluish; the ground, grass green; the pas- 
senger, behind the fore ground, is in shade, except his head, and part of his 
shoulders ; and is drest in a reddish skin, a cap on his head, and a stick over his 
shoulder, whereon hang a pair of slippers ; the shepherd and shepherdess, in the 
shade of the pyramid, receive very light reflections, the whole prospect being ex- 
hibited in sun-shine. The landscape and ofl'skip I leave to the choice of those who 
like the composition. It is said, that this philosopher was so fearful of his bald pate, 
that he thought himself secure no where but in the field, in the open air; wherefore 
I do not introduce near him either house, tree, or any thing else that could hurt him. 
But thus it happens, in the midst of his security, he meets his death : Mors iuevita- 
hile JatiiHi ! 

Some perhaps may ask, why I have chosen but a single figure for the subject of 
this picture ; my reason is, to shew those who are killed in landscape a method of 
giving their by-ornaments greater lustre and excellence; those, I mean, who are so 
rich in invention of inanimate objects, that are content with one figure, and at most 
two, and those perhaps of little significancy ; though it must be granted, that the 
name of an excellent, wise, and celebrated person, represented in an artful landscape, 
gives the work a lustre, and the master reputation ; for a skilful landscape-painter 
certainly deserves honour, but double when he shews that he also understands his- 
tory and poetry. 

Many landscape-painters (not excepting some famous Italians) chuse commonly 
low, mean, and poor subjects, and by-ornaments ; for my part, I generally lessen my 

80 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

landscape, to give room for embellishment. In fine, if we cannot be alike perfect in 
all things, we may at least, through perseverance, go great lengths ; for 

Guita cavat lapidem, non vi sed seepc cadendo. 
That is, 

By constant drops the stone is hollow" d through, 
Which greater single force could never do. 

The above composition is very fine for a landscape ; and the rather as it expresses 
an uncommon story, attended with few circumstances ; for the whole is but a single 
figure, though the scene, as being a beautiful open field, would easily admit of three 
or four. Consider then, excellent professors of this branch, what I have laid down ; 
the trouble will be but small, and it is in your power to make it easy to you : — Qui 
cupit, capit Oimiia. 



XiXPERiENCE tells us, that truth loses by repetition, and that he who easily believes 
is as easily deceived ; but the master, who makes it his business to build on the most 
certain infallible means, in order to obtain his end, bids fairest for excellence. What 
poor work is it, after having seen a well-ordered design of another master, adorned 
with elegant by-works, and fine colouring, to be a slavish imitator of it, by intro- 
ducing neither more nor less figures, nor other draperies and colours? What repu- 
tation is got by it, were it ever so well executed ; nay, if differently disposed and 
incomparably painted ? It is certain, that something- more is necessary before we un- 
dertake a subject. A prudent general will not rely on the report of one spy ; nor 
spare either men, money, or pains, to get right intelligence of the enemy's designs ; a 
good painter should do the same, in order to excel ; which to do, the following obser- 
vations are highly necessary : — 

1. We must know how the story we select is described by the author ; and con- 
sider whether we agree in every circumstance with his opinion. 

2. We must consult the comments of the best writers on that subject, in order to 
get the true meaning of the story. 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 81 

3. We must weigh the suiting and application of the draperies, and their proper 
colours and by-ornaments. 

4. How the four elements, the four complexions, and the four hours of the day, 
with their form, ornaments, and colours ought to he represented. 

Thus we may obtain truth, and the master v. ill make it appear whether he has gon< 
to the bottom of things. 

Few painters excel in history, especially fables, for want of inclination to inquire 
thoroughly into their subject; reading they think is troublesome and needless, sine* 
Ovid's fables are now in every body's hands, copiously handled, with three or four 
lines of explanation under them, by which they know, whether it is Venus and Adonis, 
Vertnmmis and Pomona, Zephyrus and Flora, &c. J? not that sufficient, say they ; 
and do not I see, that the one is naked and the other dressed; this a man, that a woman ; 
this has a dog, that a basket of fruit ; and the other a flower-pot; why then should not 
these be my patterns, since they come from such great masters? I readily grant, that 
books of prints are of great use to painters ; but to use them in this manner is a wil- 
ling slavery, unless we cannot read. 

Many have a superficial knowledge of Ovid's fables, but few understand the drifts 
of them ; what they gather is mostly from prints, nothing from the text ; wherefore 
we shall now explain ourselves in two examples of the sun and moon ; attended with 
all the necessaries and circumstances and observations which we have before insist- 
ed on ; and first, in 


The Fable of Apollo and Hyacixthus. 

Ovid relates that Apollo was in love with this youth for his extraordinary shape 
and beauty ; and that as they were playing at coits together, the youth was unhap- 
pily struck with one of them, which occasioned his immediate death. 

The comment says, that this youth being also beloved by Zephyrus, he offered to 
make him the chief ruler of the most agreeable spring-flowers ; but he, rejecting the 
offer, kept close to the conversation of Luiouas son ; in return for which, Apollo 
promised to teach him the virtuous exercises, which became his condition and liking, 
such as shooting with a bow ; the gift of prophecy ; touching the lyre and singing, 
but principally wrestling; with a privilege that, sitting on a swan, he mighi behold 
all the places wherein Apollo was most beloved and worshipped. The west-wind 
having made fruitless efforts to gain the youth's esteem, at length, through rage, gave 
into despair, and plotted means to be revenged of his rival ; wherefore, taking his 
opportunity, as Apollo and the youth were playing at coits, he secretly blew a coit 
so violently at Hyacinlhus's head that he died on the spot ; Apollo being extremely 

vol. r. m 

8'J 0/ Ordunmince, or Composition. 

grieved thereat, the earth, in compassion, turned the young prince's blood into a 
flower, in order at least to make his name, if not his person, immortal. 

The Picture, or Composition. 
Hyacintkus, in his bloom, is on the fore ground to the left, and falling backwards, 
his back most visible, his belly raised, and his right leg flung up, and somewhat bent, 
the left lea; stretched off" from the ground ; contrarily lifting up his right arm, with 
the hand open, and fingers spread ; his left elbow drawn back, and the outside of 
the hand against his right cheek ; his face, trickling with blood, is in profile, and his 
head flung back ; his hair is bright, short, and curled ; a chap let of flowers falls 
from his head by his right shoulder, which, with half his back, is bare; and lower, 
his vestment is girt about his body. Apollo appears twenty or thirty paces behind 
him, to the right of the point of sight, stepping back, in great concern ; he is seen in 
front, stooping, his breast sways from the light, his under parts contrasting it. and 
his shoulder shrunk ; his mouth is open, his left hand from him, and close shut : his 
right arm across his body, and the hand up at his left ear ; his left leg stifly flung 
out ; his right leg quite bent, the loot hindward, supporting his body ; he is naked, 
and his hair Light, yellowish, and long, flying above his shoulders; he is crowned 
with laurel. Zephyrus, (or the west-wind) whose rage was the cause of the sorrow- 
ful accident, we represent winged, and flying from the youth towards the wood on 
the left side of the picture ; his right foot is upwards, and his upper parts swayed to 
the left: part of his head and back are covered with shoots and leaves of trees: on 
the left side of the piece forward is seen Envy, in shade, peeping out of the boughs, 
and laughing : behind Apollo we introduce a piece of stone work, extended al- 
most from the point of sight to the extremity of the picture, and therein two large 
circular openings, overgrown with moss and wild shrubs; near him is a large tree, 
and by it a laurel, whereon hangs his garment, and below, on the ground against 
the body, is a lyre. The ground of the picture opens a large plain, bounded to the 
left with a wood running up to the point of sight, just by the aforesaid tree, where 
ihe river Eurolus is gliding from left to right. On the right side of the piece for- 
wards we place a large sphinx on a broad pedestal, whereon lies Hyacinthus's gar- 
ment, and against it a javelin, and on the ground a bow r and arrows, a hasel-wand, 
uusical instruments, and musical and other books. The coit flung at the youth is 
been rebounding six inches from the ground to the right. Behind the sphinx stand 
vci olive and cypress tree: the aforesaid stone-work is brownish grey, inclining to 
violet. Apollo's garment on the tree is purple, embroidered with gold: the lyre 
ivory ; the sphiux (whose fore parts only are seen) is in profile, and of v\ Kite mar- 
- le ; the youth's vestment is white, striped with gold, and his garments on the sphinx's- 

Flate XVIE. 

f. de J^zzr-efis itvts-. 

f. CzrnsitAam. Jcufa . 

Of Ordonnanee, or Composition. 83 

back a beautiful dark violet. The whole composition shews a bright and clear sky ; 
the light comes from the right, and the point of sight is in the middle. 

Animadversion on the foregoing Picture, with respect to (he Painters Compot 

That the agreeable youth is of noble extraction, his fine mien and purple garment 

His wisdom and knowledge appear by the sphinx, with the instruments lyiug 
by it. 

The chaplet of flowers shews his amiable qualities. 

The garment he wears on this occasion points out his virtue and modesty. 

The cypress, near the olive-tree, gives us to understand, that all sublunary and sen- 
sual pleasures, how pompous soever, end in misery. 

Having done with the sun, we shall proceed to treat of the moon in the same manner. 

The poets differ hi their relation of this fable of Diana and Endymion, but mostly 
agree in the explanation of it, as 1 shall now shew. They say, that the moon, 
(Diana) falling in love with the shepherd Endymion, threw him into an everlasting 
sleep, on a mount in Caria, named Latonia, that she might kiss him at pleasure ; but 
others report otherwise. Pausamas intimates, that they went further than kissing, 
and that Endymion begot fifty daughters on the moon. Others affirm, that she 
yielded to his pleasure, on condition he made her a present of some white sheep : 
though all be fabulous, yet it carries some probability ; for Pausanias concludes, 
that Endymion was the first who observed the phases and course of the moon. 
Pliny also testifies, that Endymion first observed the motions of the moon, and 
learned her nature and qualities ; which gave rise to the fable, that she fell in lo\e 
with him. Alexander Aphrodisius likewise writes, in his emblems, that Endymion 
had great skill in astronomy, and, because he slept by day, to fit himself for 
observations, it was feigned, that he had carnal knowledge of her, and also a won- 
derful dream, by which, being a philosopher, he got that knowledge : others say, 
that he was a poor shepherd, (as Seneca, in his tragedy of Hyppolitus) though a 
king's son, and that he dwelt on mountains and b solitary places, the better to ob- 
serve the moon's motions. The learned F. Gautruche thus has it. The fable, he 

says, testifies that Diana fell in love with the shepherd Endymion, who, for too . 
familiarity with Juno, was by Jupiter condemned to eternal sleep : but she hid him 
in a mount, in order to screen him from her consorts wrath. The truth is, that 
Endymion observed nicely the moon's motions ; and therefore used to pass whole 
nights in solitary places in the contemplation of her ; which circumstance gave rise 
to the fable. Let this suffice for the story, the parts and ordonnances whereof 

M 2 

84 Of Ordoniiance, or Composition. 

Table, or Ordonnance, of Diana and Endymiox. 
Endymion, son of Esliiis, king of Elis, a beautiful aud well-shaped youth, is lying 
asleep on his upper garment, on a near mount, on the right side of the picture ; under 
Iiis arm is a Jacob's staff, a crook near him, and at his feet a large celestial sphere, 
and some books and papers, whereon appear characters and diagrams. He is pro- 
hie, his upper parts somewhat raised, and he leans, with his left ear a little forward, 
on his left hand ; his right leg is extended, and the left lifted up ; he is in all the 
shade of the trees, except his right leg and half that thigh, and receives strong re- 
flections from the moon. Diana, a little off, (not in her hunting habit, or sitting by 
him and kissing him, with the half moon on her head, as usually represented) naked 
descends from the clouds, with a full moon behind her as big as herself, and sur- 
rounded with stars, with the attendance of love, (or Cupid) she is in a fronting posi- 
tion, bending a little forward, with her left knee on a low cloud ; her arms wide open, 
as if about to embrace the youth ; and in her left hand is a *sistrum ; her aspect is 
beautiful and gay, and full of desire, being lighted by a sun-set as well as Cupid, 
who is descending with her on her right side, with his face towards her, and holding, 
J n his right hand behind him, his bow downwards, and in his left, (which comes for- 
wards) an arrow, with which he points at the sleeping youth ; he flies somewhat 
obliquely, with his upper parts from her, with his legs seen hindward through the 
cloud. A boy, standing on Endymioris right side, looks to the left at the goddess ; 
his left elbow drawn back, and a finger on his mouth, and with his right hand lifting 
up the boughs hanging at the youth's head ; when another behind Diaiia, a little to 
the left side, is pulling of her garment, a flap whereof twines about her right thigh, 
which is somewhat foreshortened. Below this child, on the left side, where the 
mount declines, sit two children joining and blowing their torches ; anrl behind them 
appears the oftskip, being a valley with a low horizon. The sphere, books, and 
papers lying to the left at Endymioris feet, are (with a small part of the mount which 
comes forwards) in the light ; the youth's garment (of which a part covers his privi- 
ties) is purple; that of the goddess, sky-colour. The sun is low, proceeding from 
the right. 

* Sistrum is a musical instrument, generally represented in the hand of Isis ; as ice, 
see in medals and other antiquities, 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. . 85 

chap. xvii. 

of rules for the management of small figures in a largj 
compass; and the contrary. 

JLhere'9 a great difference between the ingenuity of a good painter and that of a 
mere designer,* with respect to composition ; the former proceeds by the established 
rules of art, the latter only aims at what is designer-like ; the one is master of prin- 
ciples and rules, the other is ignorant of both ; the designer considers only what 
relates to relief (being a stranger to the natures and effects of stuffs, colours, and tints) 
and therefore he must find all things by means of lights and shades only : but a 
painter has more liberty and advantage; because he can, besides the shades, effect 
every thing by his colours and tints. But the difference is further visible from the 
sets of prints daily published, whether in landscape, perspective-views, architecture, 
&c. ancient or modern story ; in all which, the designer generally travels the old road 
of compositions, and the etcher or engraver as closely follows him ; but when a good 
painter executes them, all the parts will be improved and become more excellent, as 
well the invention, disposition, and harmony, as even the motions ; by which means, 
a person of small abilities cannot but be belter pleased, and often, for the sake of one 
or two fine prints, buy a whole set ; as in Oudacris book of the Roman might, in 
which, one plate, engraved by Abraham Bloteling, does, by its neatness and elegance, 
eclipse all the rest ; and this is the more remarkable, because in his medals the 
figures are shaded not with hatching, but with a thick stroke and touch on the 
shady side. 

Now, agreeably to the title of the chapter, we shall pass to the necessary manage- 
ment of a composition with large figures in a small compass. It must be granted, 
that a composition in a large extent requires more circumstances than a smaller, 
although in higher, the chief matter lie but in three or four figures; for what in the 
former comes close and filling, must in the latter be spread in order to fill up a large 
space ; and to do this artfully, we are obliged to introduce other by-works, and those 
(though insignificant, yet probable, and not repugnant to the subject) tending to ex- 
plain the story; for instance, in a landscape, to introduce some buildings, fountains, 

* By this term the author means to describe a person rvho draws in chalks, or any 
other process, which gives merely the light and shadow of objects. E. 

86 . Of Ordon nance, or Composition. 

pyramids or statues ; or in a hall, or other large apartment, hangings, alcoves, bass- 
reliefs, and such like, either for ornament, or to make larger grouping ; in short, 
any thing that will entertain the eye, since small Jig it res, in a large compass, arc not of 
themselves capable of doing it .- wherefore, with respect to such, the by-ornaments 
ought to be large, in order to create broad lights ; yet these ornaments must not be so 
monstrous as some have them, who, in order to swell the composition, make pillars 
bigger than three of the figures can embrace, with castle-like capitals, and frizal 
figures almost in full proportion ; nor so out-of-the-way as those, where, in a landscape, 
are seen trees three or four hundred feet high ; termes mere colossuses, and pyra- 
mids higher than any in the world ; to which add, houses in the offskip, where, be- 
fore people can possibly approach them, they must be lost by distance. But this is 
egregious conduct; for we should always bring together such parts or objects as 
neither lessen the figures, or cause any obstructions in the composition ; I mean, that a 
large compass must either look large, or else be filled and adorned in a moderate 
manner, as we shall shew in two sketches of the mourning Venus, plate XVIII. each 
represented in a different manner, to demonstrate, that in a large compass a great 
mass of light is absolutely necessary. The story is, Venus inconsolable for the death 
of her dear Adonis ; even the aid of Cupid fails, whose bow, arrows, and extinguished 
torch, nay her beloved garland of roses, she tramples under foot ; Mars, though 
secretly pleased at the adventure, however, pretends to sympathize with her in her 
sorrow, but in vain ; for she slights his offers, and pushes him from her ; she rests ou 
the tomb of her lover, wherein either his body is deposited, or (according to the cus- 
tom of the country) his ashes are kept in the urn ; the other by-work is a grove of 
cypress and myrtles ; from the urn might proceed a sprig of the flower which is as- 
cribed to him, since it owes its origin to his blood. 

On a due comparison of the plates we may discover the difference between the 
two compositions ; in the uppermost the mass of light is neither so large or spread 
as in the undermost ; which proves, that in a great or in a close composition, in a 
small compass (as the upper) such a great mass of light is not necessary, much less 
by-works, in order to increase it; because the figures there principally govern, and 
being large, have on that occasion the greatest force, as well in the execution as 
beauty and colouring ; the by-works serving to shew the place and occasion, but not 
to draw the eye : whence, it is easy to see, that what creates decorum and elegance 
in the one, appears insignificant and disagreeable in the other; I speak of the light 
only, which requires a distinct management in both ; wherefore, since in a large 
compass the by-ornaments make the greatest part, they must consequently cause 
greater masses of light there ; and contrarily, in a small compass, where the by-works 
are least, the main light ought to take the figures only. And to confirm this, I must 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 87 

say, that what in the undermost representation pleases the eye, and sets off the com- 
position (even were it as large again) is only caused by the light, because the by- 
works, being the most, abate the light of the figures; which having in the upper, 
with the dark tomb, more force, must create such a confusion as to weaken the 
strength of the principal figures. In a word, the larger the figures, the more shade 
ought to be about them ; and, of consequence, ihe smaller the figures, the more tight. 




Jdefore we end this book, or leave this subject, it is proper to consider further, 
whether it be not more artful to represent a story natural and close in a small com- 
pass than a larger, which I think to prove from the examples of -Raphael, Caracci, 
JJominichiuo, Poussin, JLe Brun, and other excellent masters. Moreover, daily ex- 
perience confirms it. It is certainly troublesome to be confined to a small compass, 
especially to those who affect to load their compositions, because largeness is very 
entertaining to the thoughts : the difference between both managements is the same 
as painting as big as the life, and in little, where we see that in the former lies the 
most art, since we can more easily go from the large to the small, than contrary, 
though both be done from the life. The case of these two artists is like that of a 
skilful steersman, who, capable of wrestling with storms and dangers, sails uncon- 
cernedly in smooth rivers ; when a mere ferry-man would be put to his shifts to steer 
on the ocean : he then is happiest, who has been always used to large things, since 
the small spring from them like an inland river, which loses its strength the further it 
goes from its spring ; of which the old masters were not insensible, who, though 
much employed in small painting, yet lay in for large work, being conscious, that 
what required the most trouble and skill, procured them greater name and profit. 

The force of a large painting beyond a small one, and its advantages are these : 

1. The natural representation has a better effect ; for viewing it near, it j-aises love, 
pity, anger, or any other passion, as if we sympathized with the story. 

*2. It raises the master's fame. 

Lastly, The work is much esteemed. 

It were needless to mention other advantages ; wherefore I shall confirm my opi- 
nion by examples. We read of a picture of Stratonica, that the sailors in a storm 
look it for a deity, and accordingly worshipped it. And that in Juno's temple, her 

88 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

standing figure was so artfully painted, that her eyes seemed to look every way, and 
at any beholder wherever he placed himself, appeared severe to the criminal, and 
gentle to the innocent. The reason of which effects is, that the two pictures were 
so highly finished, and had so natural a human shape, that they seemed to be 
rather flesh and blood, and to have motion, than to be paintings. 

This shews what influence large representations have on the senses ; let us now 
see what passions curiosity raises, as in this example : I suppose a murdered corps, 
lying somewhere ; near it a person weeping ; a little further, the seizure of the mur- 
derer ; and the people running some towards him, others towards the body. Now 
it may be asked, whether all these circumstances do not sufficiently shew the fact, 
without other persons, or greater passions : to which, 1 answer negatively ; for we 
ought to see whether the wounded person be dead, or not, and in what part 
wounded ; next, whether I know the assassin ; whether the woman lamenting 
him be of quality, or ordinary, and whether she be related to the wounded per- 
son ; accordingly coming nearer, I think I know him ; I am affrighted ; I behold 
the wound, which appears ghastly to me, and am th more affected by the tears of 
the troubled woman, who stands at his head ,- I look for the murderer with concern 
and revenge, and see him dragged in irons between two officers ; he looks pale, 
and his heart forebodes the worst ; in fine, every one is variously affected, some 
concerned, others indifferent with respect to the fate of the wounded, or murderer. 
Now, if such a variety of objects occur in a simple accident, what force must the 
life have, when seen near in such a representation, especially if naturally express- 
ed ? but we need not wonder, that so few tread in that old path, since they seek 
ease, and want the ambition to excel by an exact inquiry into nature. 
. 1 once thought I acquired reputation by painting in small, but was afterwards 
convinced that large work, or the life seen near, was the surest way to excellence ; 
but envy and strife stopped my career : what the painters in large in these countries 
merit, may be easily determined, since few of them do it masterly, through igno- 
rance of the true antique or beautiful life : by true antique I understand, perfect 
antiquity without mixture of modern mode ; not Venus with sta}s, Mars in a suit 
of armour, Pallas in a straw hat, fyc. which is a choice that can never get reputa- 
tion ; because such a master has no thorough knowledge of the life, nor brings 
work enough into his pictures. If lie get a bold and light pencil, that is thought 
sufficient ; his drawings are commonly so slight, that they discover little more light 
than what is necessary for the most relieved parts, without regard to half tints, ten- 
der parts and soft muscling ; and from these drawings he paints as big as the life ; 
w hereby he is obliged to supply, as he can, all the other requisites which in the 
life he slighted ; thus the composition conies out lame, and what makes it worse, 

Of Ordotmance, or Composition. 89 

his aversion to draperies, and beautiful folds, which are so graceful iiv a picture, 
and so easily to be had from the life. But draperies, says he, are trifles ; as they 
fall out let them pass; if it is not linen, it may serve for woollen ; and if for nei- 
ther, it is at least drapery. 

But when, on the contrary, I view the old masters works, what a vast difference 
do I not discover ! what pains have they spared to handle their subjects propcrh ! 
it is true they admitted not of many circumstances in their compositions, but 
what they did were perfectly artful, elegant, and natural. View but Caracci's 
Woman by the Well; Raphael's Simon Magus; Dominichino's Judith, Ziba, Esther 
and David ; Poussiris Esther and Ahasuerus ; or Lc Brim's beautiful Death of St. 
Stephen; how wonderful, expressive, noble, natural, and close, they are ordered, 
and that with large figures. All which plainly proves, that painting as big as the 
life is much preferable to that in little, and that he, who has made the former his 
practice, can easily perform the latter, though he in little cannot so easily give into 
the large. To have a fine and natural expression in little is certainly commend- 
able ; but it is more easy to mark out a camp, and draw up an army for battle in 
a large plain, than in a narrow compass ; a spread army is weak, but closein - oi 
troops makes it strong; wherefore in narrow and ill-situated places, a general 
must shew his utmost conduct We usually say, that the best writers and poets 
are short and concise; in music the same, perfect harmony lying in four parts, 
whether vocal or instrumental ; it is likewise more artful to compose a piece in 
few than many divisions. 

Charles du Gardin was exceedingly fine in little, and yet he had a great inclina- 
tion to imitate the large manner; but he did not succeed. Mien's, the famous 
painter in little, lost all his credit with his patron, the duke oi Tuscany, by his por- 
traits in full proportion ; and so it does happen to others. Those who practise in lit- 
tle use small puppets for their layman, but not puppet-dresses ; their academy- 
figures are drawn on white paper, uncertainly shaded, with mezzo-tint or tenderness, 
and no higher finished than serves their turn : others, who fancy they know betU r, 
and, as if they had a notion of broad management, sharpen the extremities of their 
figures, and darken a little against the light, having no need of a second tint; be- 
cause their figures shall not round. Once, as 1 was drawing at the academy, I 
met with a person who managed in that manner, and I desired he might be asked 
(because then I understood not the language of the country) why he did not finish 
the figures better, since he had time enough for it? whose answer was. h<^ had no 
occasion for more finishing, as painting small things, one, two, or three foot high 
at furthest. I then caused him to be asked, that supposing he were to do some- 
thing larger, whether he would not be at a loss? he answered, that he hoped he 

VOL. I. N 

90 Of Ordoiwance, or Composition. 

should not, as long as he kept to his text : which indeed was truth, as appeared 
in the consequence ; for having an opportunity afterwards to paint some figures in 
full proportion, there was no more in them than his drawings, which were his mo- 
dels. Mam- instances of this kind were superfluous, since it is hoped the better 
advised will conduct their studies rightly in a due examination of the life, in order 
to qualify themselves for larger things. 

This observation touching small and large compass, is not only useful in history, 
but also in landscape, portraiture, flowers, fruit, shippiug, architecture ; in fine, 
in ail parts of painting. 



Jl.n all things wc should observe order; which some proceed in, according to their 
fancies, and others act counter to rules, not knowing, that things are established 
thus and thus by an universal consent; and why? he, who thinks himself to do 
as he pleases, may indeed paint Jupiter with a fool's cap, and a yellow or green 
garment, and Momits in a purple drapery, and so forth ; because there is no other 
punishment for him but his ignorance : but a well-advised artist makes better in- 
quiries, that he may justify his work, or that the work may speak for itself. Let. 
us love virtue, says Horace, for the sake of virtue, and shun vice, not only for fear 
of punishment, but also for the odium it carries. Although no one need fear corpo- 
real punishment for disorderly management of history, yet he is not free from the 
reproach of ignorance and blunder, a punishment great enough to a generous mind ; 
wherefore we should submit to established order, as the conductor of our studies, 
the surest way being best, and the beaten road nearest. If a good historiographer, 
in compiling a story, make an orderly division of his materials, before he begin to 
write; disposing first the general heads, and then the particular ones; afterwards, 
the incidents, and which of them are principal, and how many; and which of them 
happened without, and which within-doors ; moreover considering, whether the 
story throughout is to be handled in all its circumstances in a certain number of 
parts, or in some principal ones only; as whether he will contract Homer's twenty- 
four books into twelve, Virgil's twelve into six; or, Ovid's fifteen into seven or 
fight, at pleasure; so a judicious painter, in handling a magnificient history, should 
make himself master of the true contents and meaning of it; as whether the parts 
be few or many ; if many, whether he cannot bring them into a small compars ; and, 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. .01 

it few, whether he cannot add lo them: moreover he is to consider, which are the 
principal parts, and what can he left out, in order to reduce them to such a proper 
numher as will. answer his purpose ; always remembering, in case he should fall 
short, that he may use any licence that is not against nature and reason, even to 
make two incidents out of one, when occasion requires. 

>Ve are therefore to estahlish it for a general method, in treating a complete his- 
tory, divided into three, four, or five pictures, more or less, that the first picture 
must always shew the drift, state, and place of action; and the last, the conclusion 
of the story. 

Large histories, such as of Joseph, Alexander, Hercules, and others, which best 
become palaces, saloons, apartments, and galleries, cannot he executed in a single 
piece, because of the variety of accidents they contain, which must be continued 
in several pictures, whether in tapestry or painting. Again, if the gods come in 
play (which frequently happens), the ceiling is proper for them ; taking care, that 
either the beginning or' conclusion of the story be over the chimney, as I shall more 
largely shew in the book of ceiling painting. 

There are many such long stories in Homer, Virgil, Apuleius, Tasso, even in 
scripture itself: now if we would chuse two incidents out of any of them, or makf 
two compositions, and those to be hanged together, we ought in the first to repre- 
sent the most remarkable part, whether it he the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, or 5th accident, 
according as it happens, so that its fellow may he the last ; as the end of Adonis, 
or his death; the fall of Ph<elon, or his grave: Sardanapalus burning himself; 
AEneas's deification : Iiinaldo's disinchantmeut ; and, in sacred story, Solomoiis 
offering to the idol. 

Here it is necessary to be observed, that all the histories have two contrary be- 
ginnings and conclusions; some, a sorrowful heginning and a joyful exit; others, 
contrary ; to which add a third, which are neither joyful nor sorrowful. The story 
being divided into three accidents, the first should serve as an introduction to what 
we intend to treat of; in the second should appear the main action; and the third 
should turn in the happy or miserable event : for instance ; we may represent Julius 
Ccesur entering on the government ; next, his condition, or further promotion ; last- 
ly, his death. We can also divide a story into four parts or stages, as the birth, 
rise, life, and death, of a vulgar or noble person. 

YtxsXfive divisions are the most perfect — more are superfluous ; because any history 
snay be sufficiently represented in five parts ; thus, the person's beginning in the 
first; his rise in the second ; his condition in the third ; his fall in the fourth ; and 
his end in the fifth; as wc shall further illustrate in the chapter of following or 
matching of pieces. 

.n 2 

93 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

In representing a history, the artist is not always confined to the laws of written 
story; a good historiographer is obliged to go through with all the particular facts 
from the beginning to (he end, in a successive order ; a painter, contranly, has a 
greater liberty of choice, since it is indifferent to him, whether he fulls upon the 
beginning, middle, or end of a story ; and therefore sometimes begins where he 
pleases ; picking out of the story what best suits his intention, either what went 
before, now is in action, or must be in consequence, being obliged to exhibit no 
more out of the whole, than can be seen together at one view. 

Horace divides the drama into five acts. The first containing the sense and in- 
troduction of the story; in the second is the sequel or consequence, arising from 
the first: in the third, the contention or dispute; in the fourth is seen at a distance 
the issue of the story; and in the fifth, the catastrophe or conclusion either in 
sorrow or joy. But the drama differs from a painting in this ; that the one contains 
in each act a particular time, place, or action; and the other exhibits only a mo- 
mentary action. 

The division of the drama into five acts is not without reason, from the example 
of the sun's course; which begins witli day-break ; secondly, ascends all the morn- 
ing ; thirdly, has a meridian-altitude; fourthly, declines in the afternoon; lastly, 
sets in the evening. 

He who would act sure and orderly should use the following means ; which, be- 
sides the truth of the story, will furnish him with plenty of thoughts. 

1. The time. 2. The place of action. 3. The conditions of the persons con- 

By the time we understand either the past, present, or to come ; and therein, a 
division into night, morning, noon, and evening ; also into spring, summer, autumn, 
and winter; and into months, Aveeks, days, &c. 

As for the place, we must consider, whether it be in Europe, Asia, Africa, or 
America; whether in town or country, within or without doors ; in stately or vulgar 
buildings, or a mixture of both. 

In the conditions of persons we meet with great and illustrious ones, as emperors, 
kings, princes, senators, generals, &c. as also deities and high-priests, male and 
female ; in the second tier, nobility, merchants, and citizens ; lastly, the common 
people, countrymen, beggars, &c. In these orders of men we distinguish between 
great kings and less, and the same in the other conditions; and divide them again 
into old, middle-aged, and young. Among people in general we find tall, middle- 
sized, short, thick, slender, well and misshapen, healthy and sickly, sensible and 
foolish ; all differing as well in their natures and humours, as in their counte- 
nances and shapes. 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 0:3 

We may add, m the fourth place, the manners of each, and the particular en 
toms of nations, whether of Romans, Greeks, Persians, Armenians, Germanis, tS-c 
together wkh their dresses, consisting of various stuffs, as silk, linen, course or fine 
woollen-cloth, long or short. 

Lastly, the knowledge of physiognomy, perspective, geometry, architecture, 
anatomy, proportion, colours, harmony, reflections, and every thing that occurs in 
the chapters treating of those particulars ; which we shall not here repeat. 

It now remains only to be observed ; first, that there are two sorts of pie-tan 
natural and unnatural. Secondly, what good histories are, in order to shew their 
continuant painting. The natural pictures are those, in which we exhibit 

the nature of a story or accident by a single passion, i. e. by a single repre- 
sentation of the person on whom the stress lies. The unnatural are those, wherein 
the same person is represented more than once, and (hereby two accidents mixer! 
together which happened at different times, as the one by day, and the other by 
night ; which is contrary to nature, and wherein is often used more than one 
point of sight. Secondly, the most pertinent and intelligible histories are such as 
that of Heliodorus, described in the Maccabees, when he was punished by the 
angel ; to which add, the high-priest prostrate before the altar, intreating the 
Almighty; and further, the widows and orphans, lamenting and crying: all this 
shews the continuance of the history, and may be brought into one piece. An- 
other may be that of Pompey, where he is burning all the letters and papers of 
Perpenna in his sight, and then ordered him to be carried to his punishment; and 
many others. 



feiNCE we have treated of many particulars and their requisites, it will be proper 
here to subjoin the disposition of objects in a frontispiece-plate, and their observ- 
ables, as being of a different nature from other compositions, and tending in all 
respects to embellish the book only; like a fine garden-walk, where the objects, 
whether vases, statues, trees, &c. are placed to answer their purposes. 

The figure which denotes the subject of the book, ought by all means, as the 
principal, to appear in the middle of the plate, set off by other by-ornaments : over 
head or beneath must be a large table or flat face, with the book's title thereon, 
either in thick black letters, or else double-lined ones, and the other figures, which 
serve for illustration, placed of equal height on each side, either standing or sitting : 

p; Of Ordonnanee, ur Composition. 

thus much for the fore-ground. The distance, haviug little concern in the matter, 
we may dispose where we think proper with low or rising grounds, in order there hy 
to give the uniformity of the subject greater lustre, and a painter-like decorum : the 
principal visto ought to be in the middle ; but, if two are necessary for the sake of 
shewing something in the distance, they must be on each side, and equally large 
and extensive. 

But we must take especial care, that the title be encompassed witn architecture, 
or rockage, or trees ; or at least remain within the fore-ground, which we ought 
to consider as a theatrical stage opened on one or both sides with a curtain, some- 
times setting it off with a colonaded frontispiece, or else inclosing it in a moulding 
or compartment; in which case there should always be a sounding fame, either 
before or behind, let the subject of the book be what it will : even the fame alone 
with the title of the book will look more proper, than the figure of the book without 
the fame. 

It looks well to inscribe the title in the pendant of the trumpet, when it is in the 
middle of the plate, and in double-stroked letters ; but if it happen to be on a side 
of the plate, it is improper. The capital black letter suits the middle and bottom of 
the plate ; however, when the title must be placed high, the open letter is best, be- 
cause the other would take the eye too much, and weaken the rest of the work. 
Thus much in general. 

'With respect to particulars we must observe, that the figure representing the 
book, should always possess the chief place in the middle of the plate, and that to 
be elevated ; the figures of less consequence somewhat lower and further in, and 
thus with the others ; each going oft' according to its rank, action, and quality, to 
the ofl'scape ; and if other additional ornaments are necessary, they must be con- 
trived here and therein bass-relief. 

But to explain myself, I shall give a plate example, and take for the subject a 
book, entitled Ars Militaria ; or, A Treatise of Military Exercise. Bellona, as the 
subject of the work, sits exalted on a high and large pedestal, in the middle of the 
plate, set oft' with all kinds of warlike instruments, as usual ; beneath her, on one 
side, stands a person in an offensive posture ; and, on the other, a defensive person; 
these three figures make the whole story ; the latter is represented as a brave citizen 
with a table in his left hand, whereon is drawn the plan of a fortification, and under 
his right arm a sheaf of wheat ; the former appears as a vigorous young man, with a 
spike-headed staff in one hand, and a spade in the other, and at his feet a crow, or 
wall-breaker ; on one side in the offscape is a town-wall, and on the other some 
armed men setting houses on fire ; behind the former stands vigilanry, and behind 
the latter subtilty. 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 95 

Now we may observe, that (lie aforesaid uniformity in the figures, accompanying 
Bellona, and which help to explain the sense, is unavoidable; for if one of the hiero- 
glyphic next her were sitting, and the other standing, it would cause an absurdity 
in the ordonnance ; because those two figures ought to shew an activity, or at 
least to be in a readiness to undertake some enterprise: wherefore they, as well 
as those behind them, must be standing; the latter being placed there, not as 
capita] Bgnres, but to aid and subserve the two others ; and therefore, being rather 
ornamental than necessary, they may be left out ; as also may the offscape, since the 
subject sufficiently appears without it; nevertheless it may be retained when it does 
not obscure the main design ; but I should rather choose to contrive it in bass-relief 
in stone-work. 

All frontispiece-plates should have the three following qualities : 

1. To delight the eye. 

2. To tend to the praise and honour of the author and designer. 

3. To be advantageous to the seller. 

These observations, though little heeded, yet are very necessary, since all things 
have a reference and tendency to something; and though, by a proper application, 
we must shew their qualities, as in the three instances aforesaid, yet we have a 
liberty to make further additions, if not foreign to the main design of the com- 
position : 1 say then, that if the capital figure be set off by an area, palace, or other 
building, that ornament must come on the right side of the plate next to the 
binding of the book, and run off to the left as scantily as the design will permit. 
Tt would be improper to represent a table, pedestal, or vase, or such like, half 
in the piece, unless the print have a border broad enough to be supposed to hide 
the other half, or it were on a third or further ground. We also remark, that 
the light falling on the objects must be supposed to come from without the book ; 
that is, it proceeds from the left side or opening of the book, and shoots to the 
inside of it, in order thereby to create between them (I mean the print and the 
book) a perfect union and sympathy, like that of the soul and body ; supposing 
the book to be the body, and the print the soul which moves it ; to which add, in 
confirmation of my position, that the back of the book gives rise to the print and 

The reason why I dispose the objects thus, whether light or heavy, is, because T 
dunk the contrary very improper and ill-grounded ; as the decorum of it may be seen 
•n the frontispiece-plate of my drawing- book, designed in that maimer ; which I shall 
explain, and give a proof of, in the two following examples : 

90 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 


I place, on the right, side of the design, a tine frontispiece or porch of a court or 
temple, with wings coming from it on each side, and on them some people leaning- 
over a ballustrade; all running to the point of sight, which is in the middle of the 
piece. At the entrance stands a prince, princess , or vestal virgin ; and before him 
or her, on the steps, a man or woman kneeling, and receiving a staff, or a roll of 
paper. Fame on high sounds towards the left, ; and on the second ground also on 
the left side, (but half without the piece) some affrighted people taking their flight. 
On the same side the distance should appear visto-wise, like a gallery, up to the 
point of sight. Now, the design being lighted from the left, and only slightly 
sketched with black chalk, or a pencil, and rubbed off on another paper, the former 
will face the book; and the reverse the contrary. 

EXAMPLE II. In a Landscape. 

On the right side is a massy tomb, supported by sphinxes, and set off with other 
tone-work, as pedestals and vases ; the foremost whereof are more than half wit/tout 
the piece, and all running to the point of sight, as in the foregoing. Behind it is 
a close ground of cypress and other trees up to the point of sight; and beyond 
it is the distance. From the left side, on the second ground, nay be seen in part 
only, some people coming forwards; as a priest, boy with sacrificing utensils, 
the axe-bearer, and beasts for sacrifice. Before the tomb, on the plinth, should 
stand a small altar ; forwards, two or three harpies taking their flight; and, from 
the tomb, Cupid flying after them, with an arrow in his bow, as driving them 
from thence. Now reverse this drawing also, and then observe the decorum it pro- 

Although this method of proceeding be founded on reason and good grounds, yet, 
I fear, many will take it for a chimera ; on a supposition that we pretend to amend 
something, and lay down a positive law for what has been several hundred years left 
free and unlimitted ; since books may, without the aforesaid observations, be good, 
sell well, and bear a price : again, if a book be good, and have but a title-page, with- 
out a frontispiece-plate, that's enough ; even a plate ever so poorly executed will pass, 
if it but shew what the author treats of. But let me ask, whether it is not more ac- 
ceptable to give a print great decorum, ami make it better with little trouble, than to 
beat the old road : especially when we can support it by certain rules, which will dis- 
cover the error of former management? some perhaps may say, Why have not others 
mentioned this, since the position is so positive? but I answer, that though many 
things have been found out, something still remains to be discovered by the studies 

Of Ordomuuice, or Composition, 97 

of curious and inquisitive men. We grant, that if a book be had, the frontispiece- 
plate \\ ill not mend it ; however, if the proverb may lake place, a thing well set off is 
half sold ; and therefore elegance is very necessary in all things. 

Of the Representations of Dreams, Apparitions, unusual Thoughts and Fictions, at 

leisure Times. 

"Who can blame a studious artist for amusing himself sometimes with sketching 
odd conceptions, or for painting them ? I think it very commendable, and a true token 
of greatness of mind, and the best method for excelling in design; it is certain that 
they who make their art their diversion have a double advantage in it, because the] 
exercise their judgments with usury in the most abstruse designs which the sens< - 
can comprehend. Let us only consider, with respect to the people, how acceptable 
such an artist must be, since most men have an itch for novelties ; as in phis s which 
draw the greatest concourse of people, the more uncommon they are. If any think 
I ought rather to maintain that such artists ought not to be regarded, and that they 
should find their pleasure in better things, let me ask in what? Whether in hearing 
idle talk, reading useless books, walking the streets, 8fC all which is rather wasting 
time than improvement. It is not unknown that Raphael, Michael Angela, and 
many other famous masters, did sometimes exercise their judgments with out-of-the- 
\\a\ thoughts ; whence I infer, that they thought it no shame. But contrarily, what 
good can come of excessive drinking, and dipping into other things, as if painting 
no longer concerned us? It is certain we cannot serve two masters at once; and, as 
certain, that he who studies a difficult point, and intends to master and practise it, 
must not at the same time, for pleasure, give into another which is more difficult, and 
of a different nature, lest he destroy his first point : we ought, therefore, to accustom 
ourselves to things which neither over-charge the senses, nor too much burthen the 
memory in our pastimes. A young artist, who at his leisure endeavours to qualify 
himself for fine compositions, must especially shun excessive drinking, hearkening 
to old women's tales, inquiring after news, reading trifling books of stories and ro- 
mances, principally, accounts of murders and sad accidents, enchantments, and the 
like ; as also the grounds of music : wine intoxicates, sad tidings too much affect the 
mind, and a series of troubles puts us beside ourselves; reading of murders, fyc. 
•seizes the heart, and makes us unfit for study; curiosity, instead of being satisfied, 
is so craving, that when we design something sedate, it can hardly find a place in our 
thoughts; and the study of music, or other such profound art, has too great an as- 
cendant over our senses. 

To explain what I say, touching the designing of uncommon thoughts at leisure, I 
shall give three or four examples, each of a different nature: but must first inquire, 

vol. i o 

9S Of Orihmnunce, or Composition. 

why painters will not give themselves the trouble to design unusual or barbarous his- 
tories, such as the Indian, Japan, or Chinese ; and find that it is because no authors 
have written any thing about them worth sketching, those nations affording no other 
scene than cruelties, murders, tyrannies, and such like disagreeable objects, which 
would rather offend than delight: moreover, that the odduess of their dresses, man- 
ners, and customs, do not at all quadrate with the grace and beauty of the an] 
tiqae. It is certain, that the principal business of a history-painter is, to express 
the story with proper and lively pas-ions, that his intention may appear plain and 
satisfactory to the curious ; and yet, this would be no more than the reading it in the 
author, if the grace of the figures were not also to accompany it. AVhat disgusts in 
a fine play more than ordinary action, bad dresses, and a contemptible stage? If a 
fine voice be agreeable to the ear, how charming must it be when the eye sees it come 
from a beautiful woman : beauty causes love, but deformity aversion. It is therefore 
no wonder, that we have no reiish for such odd subjects, since Europeans are too con- 
versant with real beauty, to be pleased with such shadows and ghosts : yet, notwith- 
standing what is said of the figures and histories, I thing it not unworthy of a land- 
scape-painter sometimes to exhibit such uncommon landscapes, because the oddness 
of the grounds, trees, and buildings found in them is pleasing to most people, espe- 
cially those who are conversant with their history ; and indeed this novelty of pro- 
spect is no ways so repugnant to art or nature, as the people and their manners, in 
spoiling the shape which God and nature gave them. 

If it be said, that such landscapes are improper without figures of the same coun- 
try, it must be granted ; nevertheless, as the by-ornaments of a landscape are usually 
the least regarded, I think it not disagreeable to exhibit here and there some of those 
creatures, in order to shew the nature of the country . a judicious artist may dispose 
them as he thinks best for the good of the whole picture, and the pleasure of the eye ; 
and because those countries are well known to Europeans, he can introduce them 
there, and intermix with them travellers from other countries, as Persians, Romans, 
(rrecks, kc. who may add to its improvement: as we introduce tvJiites into the blacks 
country, and blacks into Greece. 

But perhaps another difficulty may be started against such landscapes, namelv, 
that they cannot be managed so natural and true, as where me can have the life be- 
fore us ; which indeed is probable : however it must be granted, that the authors, 
treating of those parts, are so many and so particular, that a man of judgment may 
gather sufficient instruction from them ; the temperature of the air, fruitfuluess of 
the soil, shape of the trees and other greens, and their natures and colours are plainly 
set down ; and if the green happen to be a little lighter or darker, or the ground 
more yellow or russet, who will go about to disprove it, if artfully managed? for my 


,u> Jliwet-'e !' 

Of Qvdbnnance, or €kmpaskiai 99 

[>ai t, I should make no seruple to paint such a piece, since a painter ought (o shp no 
opportunity of getting praise, and wish to have done it, according to my present idea 
of it : if we omit doing many things for want of a proper knowledge of them, what 
cannot the pencil of a judicious master do, if he will but set about it? yet some m< u 
will not go out of their old road, as was the case of a fellow-pupil with me under my 
father; who, on my asking him, why he painted not other subjects as well as Bible 
stories? answered, that he had no occasion to seek after others, since the Bible 
yielded more than he could do in his own life : which indeed was no wonder, since he 
painted oae story ten times, if it pleased him. But we shall now come to the repre- 
sentations we promised. 

Remorse of Conscience occasioned by an Apparition. — Sec plate XIX. 
After Sextus Targuimus had ravished Lucrelia, the unhappy lady (who had stabbed 
berself in revenge of her violated chastity) appeared to him, as he Avas lying in bed, 
shewing her breast gored with blood ; at which, he was so terrified, that he knew 
not where to hide. 

The figure which accompanies her holding a dagger, with cypress-leaves about its 
head and waste, represents despair, as the broken pair of compasses, sticking in its 
girdle, plainly shews. Now perhaps it may be asked, because Lucretia is opening 
her wound, whether the dagger should not become her? which I grant, as having 
committed the fact through the other's instigation. It is certain, that there is no need 
of by-help, as we shall prove in its place, in the bass-relief of Melcager, when the 
mischief is done by our hands ; but here the case is very different ; for Mealeager 
was there dying, and the revenge not yet executed ; whereas here the revenge is al- 
ready had, because she is producing her wound, and therefore the greatest effect of 
despair is over, and she shews him the bloody dagger by means of despair ; which 
figure would indeed be superfluous, were she not supposed to be saying — Tins steel 
did it. For if she were in a desperate posture with the dagger in her hand, the figure 
of despair would be unintelligible, and therefore superfluous. Again, it would be 
absurd, to make her stab herself at his bed-side, since no spectre of any person can 
appear before a separation from the body; wherefore she shews herself to the de- 
bauchee, as the cause of her untimely death, in order to bring him to remorse, am! 
for that reason Despair is represented in a triumphing manner, as if saying,— II&c 
invicta manet. 

Megccra by the bed-side, with her head beset with serpents, scourging him with a 
smoky pitchy torch, intimates not only remorse, or reproof, but all other inward 
troubles — grief, rage, horror, disquiet, fyc. 

The lamp on the table, and in a princely apartment, may perhaps seem odd ; never. 

o 2 

100 Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 

theless I think it has a fine effect on the foremost figure, and also helps to make the 
tu! le-furniture conspicuous, without hindering the other light ; doing still more good, 
as being a lamp, and having burnt a long time without snuffing, and therefore casting 
a gloomy russet light, when that of the spectre is bituminous, burning white and 

As for the small compass of the ordonnance, some would have filled a room three 
times as large with those figures ; and even represented a hall adorned with pictures, 
bass-reliefs, tables, stands for candlesticks, tVr. and a within-door visto ; an Italian 
comparted floor, and many other things. 

Representation of Vanity, according to ike Saying, Man's Life is a Dream. 

Alexander, reposing on abed, the following spectres appeared to pass by him : 
first, Time with his hour-glass; next, Ambition, holding a torch ; next, Valour, fol- 
lowed bj Asia, Africa, and America in irons; then follow Riches and Pleasures, and 
then Honour and Glory; the former with a pyramid, and the latter with a ccelestial 
sphere; a naked man brings up the rear, having a dejected look, and hugging himself, 
who, in passing the bed, accosted the prince thus, — O Alexander! behold me; refect 
on what 1 was,'and what I nan- am ; the whole world teas at my disposal; my valour pur- 
chased me the highest honour and alary ; riches and pleasure were at my command; but 
now, in nakedness, J pass hy as a shade: — Sic transit gloria mundi. 

This cavalcade I exhibit in a hall richly furnished, representing the figures in a 
waving motion, and skimming over the floor, a foot high, on a thin cloud, cross the 
picture to a descent of two or three steps on the left side, and thence on the same 
side up to a back door on the left side of the point of sight, where they disappear. 
The bed, a little raised, stands backward in the middle of the piece; the aforesaid 
shades are vapourish, but not sharp : forwards, on the left side I place, on a pedestal. 
the figure of a sitting Alexander, with thunder in his hands, a globe in his lap, and 
an eagle by his side; and behind the pedestal stand two centinels in earnest dis- 
course, insensible of what is doing. 

Let it not be thought, because I make the three parts of the world fettered, that 
Alexander, by his valour, subdued them; for, according to the testimony of some 
writers, he did not conquer all Asia ; nevertheless, that his ambition made him hope 
to do it, is not improbable, since he caused himself to be worshipped as a second 
Jupiter Amman, as he himself has given us to understand by these words : — Alterius 
J oris altera tela. 

I question not, but that, if such a shady, ghost-like manner be well executed, it 
will appear very uncommon, though I do not lay it down as a fact happening to 
Alexander, but uive it as my own invention. 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 101 

I have said, that the shades or appearances walked as on a cloud ; by which I 
mean a thin vapour, serving them for a ground, and gh ing them ;i faint shade to the 
hall-floor; yet the vapour and ground-shade are of no other use, than to express 
things in a supernatural way, and to make a distinction between real and imaginary 

I have seen such a thought painted by J or dawns, where a man is dreaming in his 
Led, and before him stood a naked woman, appearing as a real one, who (one would 
think) was going to bed to him, had not the artist painted there some clouds, as if 
slit were standing in a door of clouds : whence I was led to think, she might be a 
spectre ; but then not having a ghastly appearance, I thought she had too great a 
communication with the rest of the picture; she was seen from behind, and very 
beautifully coloured : 1 and others therefore concluded, that this woman was only 
a model ; to which the other particulars were added, in order to patch up a picture, 
and till the cloth. —But to return to our composition. 

My thoughts are, that Alexander must not be represented naked on the bed, but in 
princely attire ; for otherwise the door. must not stand open ; and I am not confined 
to the chamber-light, because of the shades or spectres ; wherefore, in reference to 
that, I have two points in view; first, to keep the light beautiful as sun-shine; or 
secondly (which is better and more ghastly), to keep it somewhat gloomy, in order to 
express naturally the vapouriness; and by it the vanity of human condition. 

An odd Fable. 
The fable-w riters tell us, that in the beginning of time a difference arose between 
Apollo and Diana, both in their youth, who should produce the finest animals, where- 
with to furnish the world ; Jupiter, as chief ruler in heaven for pastime allowed it, 
and gave them power to doit: after many challenges and disputes, it was linally 
agreed that Apollo, in the presence of all the gods, should make the fust essay; and 
accordingly, to general admiration, he produced a large lion: Diana sensible of it, 
and seeing the gods taken up with the sight of so strange a creature, and fearful that 
she should not produce the like, brought forth a cat, a creature not unlike the lion, 
but as much inferior in strength and shape as the moon is to the sun. Whilst the 
gods were laughing at this, Apollo was so nettled at the presumption of Diana, in 
thinking herself his match, that he instantly brought forth a mouse; to shew, in a 
scornful way, that the cat was comparable with the lion: whereupon Diana sum- 
moned all her wit and power to bring out a monkey ; which creature, like the former, 
being found to be very ridiculous, and her endeavours judged fruitless by the gods, 
she was so provoked, as to create an eternal enmity between the lion and the monkey, 
and the cat and the mouse. 

102 Of Onloiwance, or Composition, 

Composition of the Fable. 

Apollo, as a youth of about fourteen years of age, stands a little to the left of the 
point of sight, holding in his right hand a sceptre, which rests against his hip ; he 
stands in a daring posture on one leg, has a fierce look, and on his right side, a little 
from him, sits a large lion. Over against Apollo, a little forward, stands the young 
Diana, holding up a dart in her right hand, and seeming to call up a monkey from 
the earth, who, half out of the ground, looks grinning behind him at a mouse, which, 
because of the cat standing by Diana, seems to creep away under the legs of Apollo. 

The deities view those strange things with pleasure ; Jupiter and Juno sit by 
themselves on a low cloud in the middle : near Apollo and Diana are seen Mercury 
and Aurora; and on the right side forwards Mars and Bacchus, the former lying 
on a stone : Venus, attended by Cupid, lies On the grass ; and next them, a little 
further, Ceres, sitting in the lnp of Rhea, points and laughs at the monkey : between 
these two and the cloud, whereon sits Jupiter and Juno, appears Saturn : on the left 
side forwards sits Pallas with Aesculapius, between Iris and Ganimcdes : behind 
Apollo advances Momus, stooping forwards with his bawble upright in his left hand, 
whereon he leans, and looking to the right makes a scornful sneer ; his other hand 
is wide open, with the thumb on the tip of his nose. The whole assembly of the 
gods, except Apollo, looks merry and gay. 

Emblematic Picture of Folly. 
Here we exhibit a naked young man, stripped of all his substance, (which he 
lavishly consumed) appearing before the frightful idol, lashed by Despair: the stern 
old man standing next it, drest in a black garment, has his hair and beard plaited, 
and somewhat like a conjurer, is shewing the young man a cushion lying on the 
ground before the altar ; from under which sprout out thorns ; on which nevertheless 
he is forcing him to kneel : Nature on one side, on the second ground, lies feeble on 
a dunghill, looking with tears at Ceres and Bacchus, who, despitefully going from 
her, deny any succour: Necessity alone sits squat down by her, having nothing about 
her but a broken cup and some creeping insects. The building seems to be a ruinous 
palace; the visto behind the idol is frightful enough ; and yet how fine the house on 
the third ground appears, partly in the sun, and partly in the shad, of (he pleasant 
trees ; methinks it has two sphinxes of white marble on two hand-rails at the sides 
of the door ; and on the steps is seen S^uxury, scattering handfuls of money out of 
the horn of Amalthea: Wantonness is playing on a timbrel to some dancing satyrs 
and lewd women : a little further under the trees some of the same company lay, 
eating and carousing like brutes, by a fountain : the aforesaid idol is like a chimera, 
composed of many improper parts ; the head of a frog ; the upper parts like a 

Of Ordonnancc, or Composition. 103 

woman's; arms like wings ; hands as lion's paws, with one of which it holds np a 
purse of* money, and the other rests on a harpy ; its legs and feet like those of a 
satyr ; and on its head is a crown of holm-leaves. The prodigal is treading on a 
broken stone, whereon appears a small carved altar, or some remains of it : Fortune. 
deserting him, is riving forward ; at the same time Envy, behind the idol, is laughing 
secretly. Nefarium ritte el fortuna dispendium. 



\Y e have several times asserted, that strict probability ought to be one of the prin- 
cipal cares of a judicious master in his compositions, without deviation on any pre- 
tence whatever, be the choice figures, landscape, architecture, &c. or any thing else ; 
because, as the proverb says, Truth, though obscured for a season, must appear at lust. 

Now, to obtain this likelihood or probability, beside the recjnisites which we have 
in their places already laid down, it will not be amiss to observe, that the principal 
personages retam their own forms, c/taraclirs, and colours, from the beginning to the 
end of the work. 

By the forms we are to understand the proportions of their bodies. 

By the characters, the features which alter from time to time with their years ; 
from youth to maturity ; from thence to middle age ; and thence to old age. 

By the colours we mean, the fair, rosy, pale or brown ; besides long or short, dark, 
russet, light or black hair, long or frizzled beards : in fine, such a?i one must be known 
to be the same person, through all the compositions, without uny alteration. 

The same conduct must be observed, with respect to the attendants or retinue ; 
especially a black man and woman, who, if they have any part in the stately attend- 
ance in the first composition, must maintain that post to the last ; because, being- 
slaves, they are seldom exchanged ; and by their presence their masters are better 
known, especially when they have been observed to attend them several times. 

It is not improper to make mention of blacks, both men and women, since they 
are seen in the retinues of most people of power in all nations, the oue more, the 
other less, and drest in a particular garb, by way of distinction, like great men's 
liveries, &c. 

It is necessary avoiding mistakes, to know how many Olympiads the whole work 

104 Of Ordonnance, or Composition. 

takes in, and exactly to inquire into the different years in which the first, second, 
third, and fourth story ended, in order to assign each character its certain age, abating 
for accidents, which indeed so alter people, that they get out of knowledge ; us in 
the thin and slender becoming thick and fat ; and in the brisk and sprightly be- 
coming dull and heavy, and the contrary ; and yet those accidents leave the features, 
whence likeness proceeds, in their perfection. 

But here perhaps it may be asked, if we follow this observation punctually, whe- 
ther the likeness would not be so lessened as to be quite lost in old age? to which 
I agree, so far as respects the colour and fleshiness, the one in a greater, the other in 
less degree ; yet the character, with all its known features, is, what maintains like- 
ness, be a man ever so old ; wherefore it is necessary to make that appear in the per- 
sons from time to time. Alexander was very young, when he waged war with the 
Persians ; and, at the end of his conquests, died in the flower of his age. Of Darius 
and Ca?sar we ought to observe the same, though differing in years from Alexander. 
Christ, at the age of twelve, taught the Scribes and Pharisees in the temple ; when 
full grown, he did his miracles ; and was, finally, accused, condemned, and put to 
death, at about thirty. 

Lastly, we ought to observe, that the life and atchievements sometimes follow in a 
long series of years, and successively ; as in the stories of Romulus, Julius Ctesar, 
Seipio, Alexander, and many others ; and in scripture, Christ, John, &c. of some of 
which, we have largely treated in our book of tables and emblems, which we shall 
publish in due season. 

We leave it now to any one's judgment to consider, how necessary the aforesaid 
observations are in the continuance of a history; wherein we must also take care, 
that the horizon through the whole work be of one. height, and level with the eye of 
the beholder, as we have several times said in its place. 

The same conduct as we have recommended for figures respects also all immove- 
able objects belonging to the story ; for instance, if the general subject require, that a 
palace or house must come in more than once, it is necessary that it always keep its 
first form and station, only altering the point of sight, as we would have it seen either 
in front or rear, or in flank, either near or distant. 

The orders and ornaments of architecture likewise come under the same regulation ; 
for the frontispiece, balcony, porch, steps, rails, bullustrades, statues, windows, &c. 
must remain the same in each composition ; and not only so, but of the same marble 
and same wood, abating for the decays of time. 

With the inward ornaments the case is the same ; for the rooms must not be adorned 
in two different manners, but with tapestries or pictures of such or such a choice. 
The inner court may be set off with fountains, statues, &c. 

Of Ordonnance, or Compositian. 105 

\o greater oversight, therefore, in my opinion, can be committed on such an 
occasion, than to employ different hands in so capital a v ause they com- 

monly differ m manner, treatment, and knowledge, as much as night and thy ; whence . 
it happens, that the chain of a story is so broken and dubious, that without an ex- 
planation, it is difficult to know whom or what it represents; one following the 
antique gusto, another the modern ; one giving his personages a certain lik< 
another giving the same person a character quite different from that of the former, as 
it hits their fancies and choice ; so that Virgil's saying is not amiss, Amant alterna 

I remember to have seen two pieces, being the continuance of one fact; in both 
which were represented one and the same general ; in the former, he was in armour 
and bareheaded, more or less antique-like; and in the latter he was triumphantly 
carried on a shield, clothed in buff, and with shoes and stockings, hat and feather, 
and with a naked sword in his hand : as for his carriage, it was as little like that of 
the former as his dress. Now how ridiculous this must look let any one determine. 

I could give more instances of this kind of blunders, but thinking this a sufficient 
caution to those who may be concerned in such works, I shall pursue our main de- 
sign, and come to likeness; which, in a word, lies in the features, how much soever 
a person may advance in years. 

To hit the likeness well, and prevent the aforesaid mistakes, the following is the 
best method : chuse a fine plaister-face, either of man or woman, which has such 
an air as the subject requires, whether modest, austere, or amorous ; this face we 
must make use of from the beginning to the end of the work, where those obser- 
vations are necessary, either in front or profile, and with such a light as is proper 
to the ivhole design, whether right or left, forward or backward, candle or torch ; 
all this to be done without any variation, except somewhat in the liveliness and 
fleshiness, which, through years, is continually abating in both sexes, as we have 
before said. 

As to the motion of the passions, caused by particular accidents, we have, in 
a former chapter, shewed a method, how to manage in such cases, without the 

Having said thus much concerning the composition, I think it not improper to 
subjoin two observations, which are as necessary to what has been said as to what 
shall hereafter be treated of, namely, a description of the conditions of men in the 
summer and winter seasons ; and conclude this book with an emblem. 

A Man in Summer 
is greatly affected by the heat, which, thinning the blood, makes it flow with 

106 Of Qrehnnance, or Composition. 

ease to the extremity of the body, whereby the motions are freed from restraint. 
The head is raised, the shoulders sink, the arms and legs spread, the hands and 
fingers opened, whereby each part of the body seems to refresh itself, affording 
every where free passage for the cold ; the mouth is generally open, the eye-lids 
seem to be brisker, because warmth enlivens all things ; causing also the vapours, 
Which ascend to the brain, and fall on the eyes ; the hair stuck behiud the ears hangs 
down the back, so that all seems to be uncovered. 

A 3Ian in the Winter Season. 
To express this figure well, it is necessary to explain cold itself, as being the cause 
of the subsequent motions. The blood, wherein lies the warmth of the body, is 
(by means of cold, which is its opposite, and enters from without, through the 
pores) forced inwardly ; so that it passes chiefly from the small members, to wit, 
ringers and toes, to its centre : wherefore we see that, to keep off outward cold, 
people sink their heads into their breasts, raise their shoulders, hug themselves 
very close with their hands under their arm-pits, which the cold cannot easily affect; 
the knees joined, legs somewhat bent, and the whole body stooping; the eyes 
almost shut, or kept open with difficulty ; the mouth closed ; the upper lip hidden 
by the under one, which covers it up to the nose, to prevent the cold entering the 
body ; the hair hangs carelessly both before and behind. 


The best method a person of weak memory can take is to exercise his judgment 
on things at the instant they present themselves to him ; that is, to set down what 
lie has a mind to keep, that he may at any time have recourse to it for his future 
information and remembrance; and this to be repeated until he has gained what he 
wants: but this cannot well be done, unless he, at such times, suspend the use of 
three of his senses, hearing, taste, and smell, and retain only sight and feeling, ac- 
cording to our sketch, thus: 

A young man, in his prime, is sitting at a small table, with a pen or crayon in 
his hand ; Memory is sitting over against him, holding upright an open book, where- 
in Truth is represented to him on the table ; Time, standing by him on one side, 
points at the figure of Truth ; and Prudence, on his other side, is guiding his hand ; 
Sight and Feeling stand by him at the table ; the three other senses are, at the com- 
mand of Judgment, conducted by Temperance to another apartment; behind Me- 
mory, Judgment is seen driving away some Children, who are observed here as vices 
and untimely hindrances, prejudicial to Memory ; those unseasonable impediments, 

Of Ordonnance, or Composition* 107 

always hovering about us, and courting our smiles,,. have each their particular 
tokens in their hands; the first, a Timbrel; tlie second, a Racket: the third, a 
Plate of Grapes, the fourth, a Pie; the fifth, a Partridge; the sixth, a FoqFs 

Thus we may easily see, how weak and imperfect we are, when Judgment does 
not assist us, and we are misled by the bent of a corrupt inclination 


V 2 





W e are now obliged to put in execution our purpose of making a proper distinc- 
tion between things antique and modern ; since the difference between them is so 
great, that they cannot unite, without causing excessive deformity ; for things an- 
tique are always the same, but the motle continually changing ; its very name implies 
mutability, since nothing is more inconstant than what depends on fashion ; which 
alters not only annually, but even daily in those who mimic the court. These 
contrarieties, which are so confounding, and cause such a variance between what 
is antique and modern, we see chiefly in the composition of histories, fables, em- 
blems, and such like ; in which both (yet the modern most) are blended together. 

Congruity and suitableness in the composition of histories are true tokens of a ju- 
dicious master. What is more glorious, than while we are ravishing the eye to 
pierce the heart? while the sight is recreated with the beauties of the art, to trans- 
port the mind with the decorum and energy of the composition ? He therefore is 
esteemed a prudent master, who not only gives every thing its proper colours, but 
also its due expression, pure and uncorrupted. Thus we see that great masters, who 
are arrived at that perfection, do not blend things promiscuously, and without dis- 
tinction, as east, west, south, and north, in a chaos-manner; because, with the little 
masters, we should then act against nature ; it is therefore necessary, that we nicely 
consider what it is we intend to represent, to the end that we may not fail in giving 

Of Tilings Antique and Modern. iO{) 

the true meaning of it. How can the truth of a tiling be Known, unless it be re- 
presented as clear as a literal explanation? Let us then, curious artists, sedately 
weigh, what gives the art such an effect and lustre; have you a mind to horrow 
any thing for your composition, examine first the story you design to paint, whe- 
ther it be Persian, Greek, Roman, &c. Will you represent Darius* chnse all 
your materials from the Persians for his attirement. Will yon bring T)emostkenes\ 
on the stage, learn the proper circumstances of the Athenians, and make him ap- 
pear a great hero. Will you exhibit the valiant Scipio,\ give him a Roman dress, 
and other necessaries from that j>eople suitable to it. By this means each person- 
age will have his true property, and you will shew your skill in history, and also 
by observing the time when, and place where, represent the subject accordingly. 
Would you exhibit High or Low-Dutch, English or French stories, fetch no 
materials from Persia, Greece, or Italy : each country can furnish sufficient matt-.; 
proper for its climate, to wit, plants, manner of living, pastimes, house-ornamento, 
stuffs, dresses, public worships, times and manners of eating and repose: all which 
particulars must be attentively considered, in order to gain our point, and for 
which purpose reading and books are necessary : for as a professor in law must 
draw his knowledge from the marrow of the Roman, German, and other writers 
of jurisprudence; a divine from scripture and the commentators thereon; and a 
philosopher the same; so a painter ought to be skilled m the representations 
which he makes his principal study, whether the same be ancie?it or modem. 
Hence we judge, what a fund of knowledge is requisite: if a painter would be 
universal, he should almost know everything; nay, more than many other artists 
in their particular callings ; for he ought to have a tolerable knowledge of mathe- 
matics, philosophy, geography, history, &c. 

Do not meddle then either with things which you are not conversant with, or 
follow the advice of others ; for it is more commendable to sketch a dog or cat 
well, than an elephant, camel, or crocodile, poorly. Are you disposed to handle 
an ancient story, borrow nothing for it that is new, and of modem invention ; since 
what is disguised with falsehood can never be truth ; like a traveller, who darkens 
truth by his own additions, whose whims make him describe things he never saw, 
and that, to a person who, on due consideration, soon discovers the fallacy. The 

* He and his army were defeated at Marathon; and afterwards by Jliliiades, 
general of the Athenians. 

1" He conquered Sicily, after he had laid waste the Country of Epidaurns. 
X By whom Carthage teas destroyed. 

110 Of Tilings Antique and Modern. 

artist's judgment itself must therefore ahcays go before, and all that he under- 
takes be governed by reason and nature: an Italian should not be in an Indian 
dress; or a Persian in a lashed doublet, since the person we desire to know, does 
thereby become unknown. Each country and people are known, not only by their 
habits, but by all the other circumstances before-mentioned ; give then to each its 
own requisites, and every thing that is proper to it. How excellent must a pic- 
ture appear, and with what admiration viewed, when every thing has its due 
qualities, and the whole a prudent management! what will not the artist merit 
if he perform nothing beyond his strength and knowledge : for, since we cannot 
know all things in perfection, we must keep within the bounds of our understand- 
ing. He who would be every where is seldom found any where ; and by con- 
founding things does, instead of real judgment, discover his little skill. Repre- 
sent then no more than your capacity will admit; and principally take care, not 
to intermix modern and ancient dresses, and furniture in the same composition: thus 
we shew a generous spirit for eminence, and with the excellent former and latter 
Italian, French, Flemish, and other masters, an emulation to excel in what is 
noble, great, and useful. 

I think I cant better describe the difference between what is antique and modern, 
than by a windball and an egg, thus ; the ball, by being tossed to and fro, and 
at last bursting, represents short duration, affording nothing but wind ; but the 
eg<r hatched and opened, produces a living creature; not only a something, but 
something good; the former, a mere nothing; or, if it have a name, it is vanity, 
and therefore rather bad than good. 

Painting was, by the ancient Romans, so highly esteemed, that none but noble- 
men durst learn it : as we may also gather from the painters, several of whom 
have been of noble extraction ; and the reason of it is very evident, since it is not 
only probable, but reasonable, that such ingenious spirits should have a distin- 
guishing inclination for arts, suitable to their quality, above the vulgar. Their 
meditations, actions, and perceptions, were fixed on great and sublime things : they 
inquired iuto, and consulted many excellent authors of history, fables, and em- 
blems, as well sacred as profane, and the accounts of ancient medals, from whence 
they have drawn plentiful and ingenious matter for their studies ; what excellent 
paintings have they not obliged the world with : how many temples, palaces, and 
other rare structures have they enriched with elegant devices, inciting to virtue, 
whereby they have bequeathed a lasting name to posterity! How did architecture 
(never enough to be praised) flourish in their times. But what alterations do we 
see now? How are the beauties and profitable uses of painting either sunk, ob- 

Of 'tilings Antique and Modern. 


Bcured, or slighted, since the Bomboccaides* are multiplied in these countries: at 
present \>e can scarce s< e one virtue appear, but ten, nay a hundred vices will rise 
counter to it; thus has sprung up a second Hydra like that of Lerua; so that we 
want a valiant Hercules to lop off these dragons heads, which are always sprout- 
in-. Thus ichitecture itself, how excellent soever, is, with the right practice of 
painting", brought into disgrace, and slighted by other nations ; since Ave scarce see 
a beautiful hall, or line apartment of any cost, that is not set out with pictures of 
beggars, obscenities, a Geneva-st&W, tobacco-smokers, fidlers, nasty children eas- 
ing nature, and other tilings more filthy. Who can entertain his friend or a person 
of repute in an apartment lying thus in a litter, or where a child is bawling, or 
wiping clean? We grant, that these things are only represented in a picture; but 
is not the art of painting an imitation of the life, which can either please, or loath ? 
If then we make such things like the life, they must needs raise an aversion. They 
are therefore too low and unbecoming subjects for ornament, especially for people 
of fashion, whose conceptions ought to surpass the vulgar. We admit, indeed, that 
all this is art, or at least called so, when the life is thereby naturally expressed ; 
but how much the beautiful life, skilfully handled, differs from the defective life 
of modern painters, let the curious determine. It is certain that men (and beasts 
too) have each a particular and different inclination to particular things; whereby 
they love what is agreeable to their natures, the one good, the other bad, because 
(as some pretend) they are governed and influenced by certain constellations hap- 
pening at their births : this at least we know, that one man inclines to hunting, and 
a country-life ; another to war, strife, and contention ; another to merchandize and 
deceit; this, to politics and great things ; that, to pleasures, &c. So that in each 
we discover what his nature and passion is prone to. 

But let us reflect on two arts, noble and ignoble, or antique and modern, and see 
how much they differ botl* in object and execution. The antique is unlimited ; that 
is, it can handle history, sacred as well as profane, fables and emblems, both moral 
and spiritual ; under which three heads it comprehends, all that era- was, is, and 
shall be; the past, present, and to come; and that, after an excellent manner, which 
never idlers, but remains always the same: the modern, contrarily, is so far from 
being free, that it is limited within certain narrow bounds, (end is of smalt power, for 
it may or can, represent no more than what is present, and that loo in a manner which 
is always changing: what, is past and to come is without its power; as also histories, 
fables, and emblems, as well poetical and philosophic as moral. Hence we may judge 

The followers of Bamboccio, a celebrated painter of mean subjects. 

112 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

what the modern art of painting is, and why it cannot be called nolle ; much less of 
any harmony with the antique. I could assign more causes for this disunion, but 
shall at present omit them for two reasons : first, because men's judgments are so 
various, and each argues according to his passions and inclinations, in proportion 
as he likes or dislikes a thing : secondly, (which is the principal) that I may not be 
thought to raise any suspicious of partiality or prepossession. But why should 1 
restrain my thoughts? Let me speak plain in spite of others; I say then, that al- 
though modem things seem to have some prettiness, yet they are only to be esteem- 
ed as diversions of art. I moreover maintain, that such painters as never produce 
more than one choice of subjects, may truly be ranked among tradesmen ; sine* 1 ; 
such representations cannot be called an exercise of the mind, but a handicraft 

But such remarks as these, we may sufficiently perceive, that from apprehension, 
knowledge, and judgment, spring the lustre and elevation of the antique art of paint- 
ing; and contrarilv. that ignorance, negligence, and self-will, debase and subject the 
modern: so that the ancients have not improperly placed Minerva by the one, and 
Midas by the other; intimating by the former, skill in the art, practice, carefulness. 
and a heavenly talent ; and by the latter, imprudence, blind zeal, worldly defects, and 

But if any one would perhaps examine, whether there be not a means to make 
the modern noble, as well as the antique, that they might both march together, they 
would find it to be labour in vain, since defects once got footing are not easily 
remedied : but further, we often hear with wonder, that painters persuade one 
another that, in handling a subject, it is enough to follow nature, though she be 
defective; as crooked, lame, squint-eyed, or blind ; and that when she is imitated 
with a delicate pencil, that is sufficient; and such is their zeal and extraordinary 
pains, that one [mints for that end the air of his wife, though ever so ugly, with 
all her freckles and pimples very exactly, whereby the agreeableness of a beautiful 
woman's face is cpiite lost. Another chases his clownish unmannerly maid-servant 
for his model, and makes her a lady in a saloon. Another will put a lords dress 
On a school-boy, or his own son, though continually stroaking his hair behind his 
ears, scratching his head, or having a down-look ; thinking it sufficient to have 
followed nature, without regard to grace, which ought to be represented ; or having 
recourse to fine plaister-faces, which are to be had in abundance. 

The beantrfal and well-composed airs in a picture, of many or few figures, have 
a great effect on the minds of the knowing; of which the ancients were thoroughly 
sensible ; for in the most perfect bodies they made the face chiefly to excel in 
beauty and agreeableness. Xo one of judgment will deny, that a beautiful and 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 113 

well-carriaged woman has such an ascendant as most effectually to move her be- 
holders in two different manners, as by two contrary passions ; under misfortune, 
or in raging pain, she will pierce a man's heart, and move him to compassion ; and 
when she entertains us on any joyful occasion, with singing or laughing, she will 
at once delight us. A clownish woman contrarily will not produce any such ef- 
fects ; for her beholders, through her unmaunerliness and simple behaviour, des- 
pise her mirth, and mock her ridiculous sorrow. 

What great defect do we not still find in modern painters, when they use, or rather 
abuse, the life; not doing like those, who, being accustomed to a nobler manner, 
view the life with knowledge and judgment, that is, not as it ordinarily appears, but 
as it ivould be in its greatest perfection : whereas the others, blinded by custom 
have no such nicety; because they imitate the life just as they see it, without any 
difference: we even see them make it more deformed than nature ever produces ; 
for the more mis-shapen faces Bamboccio, Ostade, Brouwer, Moller, and many 
others made, the more they were esteemed by ignorants: by which low choices we 
can easily judge, that they were strangers to beauty, and admirers of deformity: 
however it is an infallible rule, that daily custom and converse with people like 
ourselves contribute much to it. Thus deformity and vice are preferred to virtue, 
and what should be shunned sought; whereas he who is sensible of virtue will 
always endeavour ts escape error. 



MOD E K X . 

J. he continual changes in worldly things afford us plentiful matter for modern 
munner, without recourse to history, fables, or emblems ; even so much as to be 
endless ; as may be gathered from the assemblies for public worship, pleadings in 
courts, plays, family occurrences, and the like: all which we perceive to .be either 
majestic, amorous, sorrowful, or otherwise. Those things, how different soever, can 
be represented in the antique manner as well as in the modern, provided each keep its 
quality; as I have already intimated, and shall further insist in the subsequent 
examples; which can be handled in both manners alike natural and proper, without 
cither's borrowing any thing from the other bid the subject. This I think worthy 
of remark ; and the rather, since, to my know ledge, no author, treating of things 
antique and modern, has said any thing touching it. 

VOL. I. Q 

114 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

Francis Mieris has not only curiously followed his master, Gerrard Dou, in the 
elegant modern manner, but is, in some things, his superior ; and the rare Poussin, 
and Raphael, prince of the Italian painters, excelled in the antique: let us then 
follow their examples in what is most agreeable to our gusto's ; and though the 
latter far exceed the former in nobleness, it is however more commendable to be 
like a good Mieris in the modern manner, than a bad Raphael in the antique. Though 
1 remember to have seen a picture of old Mieris, which, as often as I think of it, 
surprises me; it was a half length figure, about the bigness of the palm of the 
hand, representing the art of painting, holding a vizor in her hand ; its hair, head- 
attire, dress, and furniture so very beautiful and truly antique, that 1 never saw the 
like done by any other modern master, how skilful soever. Whence it appears, how 
rare it is for a modern master to give into the antique. 

Let us now represent the case of parents permitting their children to take some 
dirersions in bathing: a design which can be as well executed in the antique as the 
modern manner. The bagnio comes forward in a piece, having a descent into it 
of two steps : the boys from twelve to fifteen years old, about the water and in it, 
are naked : a daughter, of twenty years of age, is seen with a fine white linen 
cloth over her body, in order to cover what modesty conceals, and as is customary 
on such occasions; nevertheless her arms and part of her legs are bare; she is 
coming up the steps on the left side : one of the aforesaid boys holds her fast by 
a flappet of the wet cloth, in order to prevent her going up : farther behind, near 
a bed, the eldest daughter, about twenty-five years old, appears almost unshifted ; 
and near her, a maid-servant to put the cloth about her: the father we represent, 
dressed either in his clothes, or a japan night-gown, standing on the brink of the 
bagnio, and laughing at the boys who are in it and playing their tricks: one of 
them is standing with his left leg on the steps, and with the other foot just touches 
the water; the youngest boy lies on his belly extended on the lowermost step, 
plashing with his hands in the water ; the cloth of the daughter, who is stepping 
out of the bagnio, dropping wet, sticks so close to her body, that the nakedness of 
the members appear so transparently through it: the mother all this while is busy 
in serving some sweet-meats on a table covered with a napkin, near which, a child, 
of two or three years of age, is sitting in a chair in his shirt, to whom she offers 
a macaroon. Somewhat further are seen silk gowns, petticoats, velvet scarfs, 
hoods, &c. hanging on pins : on a table are lying pearl necklaces, bracelets, and 
other trinkets: in fine, the whole disposition is most orderly, natural, and beautiful, 
As for the boys clothes, to wit, coats, hats, breeches, stockings, shoes, &c. they 
lie on the brink of the bagnio. 

Now I refer to the judicious reader, whether the daughter, who, on the left 

Of Things Antique and Modern. Hi, 

side, is stepping out of the bagnio, ought not, notwithstanding her being covered 
with the cloth, to be represented beautiful and shapeable in her arms, legs, hands, 
and feet, nay, even her body also, so far as the nakedness appears through the wet 
cloth? her modesty appears evidently by her bashful look : what a carriage shew 
the feet and whole body, while she endeavours to cover the parts which modesty 
conceals ! and how modestly does she step up, instead of exposing those parts by 
a wanton gait! I ask further, whether the boy, who is stopping her by the flappet 
of the cloth, ought to be less beautiful and well made than the father in the dower- 
ed japan gown? The boy the same, who lies extended on his belly, in whom must 
appear innocence and childishness : the eldest daughter in her bloom, well descend- 
ed and virtuously educated. To whom shall we liken her? whence must we fetch 
her beauty? and whom must we use for a model? a vulgar person, or one of a 
better appearance? even this latter would be insufficient for the purpose, if not 
well educated and fine-carriaged, because beauty without grace looks misshapen 
and stiff: this virgin then, who is, except in her feet, quite naked, ought princi- 
pally to be painted as beautiful and agreeable as a Grecian Venus; I mean, not a 
wanton one, but a heavenly* one, i. e. a virtuous one; forasmuch as the soul 
differs from the body, and the body from the dress, does nobility from common- 
ality, virtue from defect. If any one ask, where he shall find those beauties ? I 
refer him, in the first place, to the books which treat of perfect proportion, where- 
in true grace consists : whilst he is studious in those, he ought to have the best 
plaister figures before him, in order to exercise his understanding, and thereby 
acquire a solid judgment. If it be again objected, that the plaister is not equal 
to living nature, I own it; for I mean, not that the artist should paint flesh-colour 
after them, but get a perfect idea of theirf beauty, grace, and agreeableness, both 
general and particular, whence perfection springs; for the colouring is evident, and 
easy enough to be found in the life, as I could prove in several instances of some 
ordinary painters who coloured well; who, before they had made much progress 
in the art, Mere cried up for great men, and yet, having any thing extraordinary to 
do, were not able to sketch well a head, hand, or foot. 

The modern painting can, therefore, not be accounted art, when, nature is simply 
followed; which is a mere imperfect imitation or defective aping her. Even were 
a thing represented ever so natural, well-designed, and properly ordered ; the con- 
dition, manners, and custom of the country well observed, and the colouring most 
exact, yet the knowing will not think it artful ; but, when nature is corrected and 

Venus Urania, f The Three Graces. 

Q 2 

116 Of Tilings Antique and Modern. 

improved by a judicious master, and the aforesaid qualities joined to it, the paint- 
ing must then be noble and perfect. 

I say, therefore, with respect to Ihe naked, whether a man, woman, or child, that 
when it is not exhibited most beautifully, or in its due proportion, the modern paint- 
ing cannot deserve the name of art ; and, with good reason, since this is the only 
method whereby to make those two unlike sisters accord. 

Van Dyk, never enough to be commended, gained excellence in antique as well as 
the modern manner, by strictly following the aforesaid three graces in both; and he 
thereby acquired the epithet of Matchless: let us therefore follow his noble example 
in what made him so famous : since he is the first who carried the modern manner so 
high as to gaiu it the name of art. Whence we may easily conclude, what great 
difference there must be, between a painter who makes the modern or defective life 
his study and excellence, and one who follows the antique, or manes a thorough inquiry 
into every thing that is beautiful and perfect : the difference is even so great in every 
respect, that I cannot but wonder at it; especially, when I consider how much 
greater the number of the former sort is, and how they daily increase. I wonder, I 
say, that now-a-days virtue is so little heeded; virtue, which took its rise from 
heaven, is now, as formerly the godly Astrea* did, flown thither again; and vice, 
contrarily, which sprung forth of Erebus]- and black earth, keeps its station. But 
it cannot be otherwise, since blind love alone rules, and an Antei-os* is no more. The 
reason of so great a difference can be attributed to nothing else, but the different in- 
clinations of painters to objects agreeing with their tempers. 

They, who content themselves with following defective life, will never produce any 

* Astrea, or uprightness ; sincerity, love, and all heavenly virtues are understood by 
her. She was the daughter of one of the Titans and Themis, according to Hesiod : 
but Ovid calls her, the daughter of Jupiter and Themis. She came J rum heaven in 
the golden age, and, alien vice and corruption got fooling, far thither again. 

f 23y him is understood Hell and the Night. Some name him the god of Hell, and 
say he was married to the Night. Also a hellish river, of which Virgil sings thus, in 
his Eneids. 

illius ergo 

Venimus et magnos Erebi tranavimus Amneis. 

From Erebus and the Night are brought forth lies, envy, stubbornness, poverty, sick- 
ness, &c. 

X Counter-love, son of Venus, and younger brother to Cupid. See Siudas, Pau- 
sanias, Porplury, &c. 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 117 

thing perfect, or deserve the name of artful masters; because, not knowing or not 
caring to know, what is best, they cannot so much as strive at it: to which add, an- 
other mischief ; they more easily judge of what is bad than good; as I shall explain 
myself in the following example : 

A young man as a painter with pallet and pencils, attended by Zeal, is led by a 
blind Cupid to the figure of Nature, whose t\\ci> is covered by Vulcan with a veil: 
the sun behind the young man enlightens the aforesaid whole figure. Mercury, on a 
cloud, with his C'aduceus in one hand, holds a star over the artist's head in the other. 
The meaning is this: — 

Nature is the painter's object; the sun represents knowledge; Vulcan the gross 
part of the air, or carlhincss ; and Mercury, inevitable fate. The rest explains itself. 
Thus much touching a modem painter. 

Another emblem may have this difference, that instead of Vulcan's covering the 
upper part of Nature with a veil, Pallas is taking it off; and Anteros introduced 
instead of Cupid : the meaning is, that Judgment by Pallas (which signifies Wisdom) 
governs the upper and most perfect part; and discovers to the soul all it needs to 
know ; when Anteros, signifying Lore to Virtue, is leading the painter, atti tided by 
Zeal to it. 

But to speak still plainer, we shall subjoin a third composition. 

We represent two young men of equal age ; the one standing on the ground before 
the figure of Nature ; and the other, on one side, or behind him, somewhat raised on 
a stone or step : by the former is placed J'ulcan, and by the latter, Pallas; the one 
signifying defect or earthy parts, and the other, the soul oy perfection. Let the figure 
of Nature be enlightened by the sun, and cause triangular rays to proceed from those 
young men's eyes upon it; the rays of the former extend from the feet up to the mid- 
dle; and those of the latter take the whole figure. Let us now judge, when the sun 
represents knowledge, which of the two young men can see and comprehend the most, 
and is most perfect, he who views the figure but halfway, or he who examines it up 
to the upper parts. Whence we may learn, that the mind and judgment are beyond 
the hand and practice, which, without theory, are of no worth. It is art to produce 
something which we have not hi sight; but mere copying and aping to imitate what ire 
have before us. 

But let us go further, and consider, whether the foregoing example cannot be ap- 
plied to the case of the lovers of antique and modern manners. 

We suppose then two lovers instead of two painters, and take the art of painting, 
instead of nature, for the object; which they, like the others, view, the one entirely, 
the other but half-way: thus he, who comprehends the figures throughout, knows 
most, aud has the best knowledge, and is consequently a greater lover; when the 

118 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

other is observed as a lover of low things, and ignorant of the more noble: of this 
latter sort we find the greatest number in our countries. 

It is a certain position, that some men, though hindered in their youth, by an or- 
dinary education, from attaining sublime thoughts and great things, can alter in time 
by art and exercise ; even conquer their innate dispositions, and fit themselves for 
noble and excellent things ; so that we need not wonder, that Demosthenes was not 
more eloquent than Demades, who, though be seemed as if nature had not bestowed 
on him either tongueorspeech, yet became so eloquent, that his singularexampleshews 
there is nothing impossible to art; nay, few defects, which, like Demades, diligence 
and labour cannot overcome. Do we need not read of Hcraelides, that he became 
a philosopher in spite of nature and education? why does Socrates, notproue to vir- 
tue, become virtuous ? wherefore we need not wonder, that many great men have ob- 
tained great endowments, though naturally unfit for them: and from hence we may 
infer, that art and exercise are of more worth than the productions of nature. 

I have not yet made mention of several men of mean extraction, who, though they 
spent many years with pleasure and assiduity, in low employments, yet afterwards ar- 
rived, to general surprise, at the top of their art; as is said of Polydora da Caravag- 
gio, who, in Raphael's time, having been a hod-man to his eighteenth year, became 
afterwards a great master: the same was the case of Quintin Matsys, who, having 
been, to his twentieth year, a smith, gave into painting, and much surpassed his co- 
temporaries. Martin Hemskirk, a countryman's son, Andrea Mantegna, a cow-herd, 
and many others of mean birth, also went great lengths in the art. 

Was not, among the ancient philosophers, Protagoras, a countryman's son ; Py- 
thagoras, an engraver's; Jphieraies, general of the Athenians, a taylor's ; the orator 
Demades, aforesaid, a sailor's, and the Manlnan Maro, prince of the Latin poets, the 
son of a potter ? even the muses themselves were poor ; their nobility sprung not from 
their birth, but their science. 

We could give many more instances of this kind ; but, not to seem tedious, shall 
proceed to 



As the genius of artists differs greatly, one leading to the sublime, another to the 
common, even to the meanest; so we find ourselves obliged to treat of all parts of 
the art, in order to be alike useful to every one. 

Of Things Antique and Modem. jjy 

We have already observed, that there are three sorts of people — the courtly or 
high ; the citizen or commonalty ; and the mean or poor state : the first is spoken of 
in the foregoing book of composition; and the second shall now follow. 

We suppose, that every artist endeavours to excel in his choice of a subject; that 
some seek lame and money ; others, money and fame; others, money only; at the 
same time we think it no less artful to represent a jest than a serious matter \ a 
countryman, than a courtier, or an ass, than a horse, since either requires good skill 
to express il properly. 

Although there is a great difference between citizens and courtiers, yet the one 
as well as the other may excel alike in beauty and goodness ; it is grandeur alone 
that makes the distinction between the city and court ; for eloquence and state are 
peculiar to the latter, but modesty and temperance to the former. 

Having premised this, it will be easy to exhibit plainly, the further circumstances, 
as occasion shall call for them ; first observing, that as the city-life is peculiar to us, 
with its daily occurrences of assemblies, pastimes, family affairs, and other particu- 
lars, mentioned in the preceding chapter ; so it is the more easy for a painter to make 
such subjects bis practice ; especially one who finds himself insufficient for the 
grand style, for whose sake we give the following schemes. And first an 

Example of Intreating and Refusing. 

Two young ladies are seen at a table drinking tea; the youngest is in her within- 
door dress, and the other, a friend paying her a visit ; each has her cup and saucer ; 
that of the youngest stands filled before her, and she has the tea-pot in her hand, in 
order to fill the cup of the other, who, having turned it down, sets it on the table; 
she is friendly udreated by the other to drink another dish; as if she said, — Pray, 
dear Isabel ! one dish more ; but a servant filtering the room to call her away, she re- 
fuses it, with her hand on the tea-pot, seeming to say, — I thank you heartily ; Jill no 
more. These two passions cause two contrary motions in the whole body, hands, 
feet, and face. The mother, who is letting in the servant with his hat under his arm, 
holds the door half open, and is shewing him his mistress ; the opening of the door 
discovers a coach v\ ith which he is come to fetch her. 

INow, in order to express more plainly this rising from the tea-table, we may place 
another young lady at it, near Isabel; who, looking towards the door, seems to rise 
and set down her cup: the man we may make approaching his mistress, with a let- 
ter in his hand : and the mother standing at the door and looking : a little boy may 
also properly stand at the table, who, stealing a bit of sugar out of the box is watch- 
ing his sister, to see whether she observes it. Thus the matter may stand with re- 
spect to these two young ladies. 

120 Of Tilings Antique and Modern. 

Have we a mind to represent the same occurrence by gentlemen, we ought only to 
change the tea into wine ; the tea-pot into a bottle ; the cups into glasses ; the tea- 
equipage of kettle, §-c. into a cistern, according to the season ; and the mother into 
a menial servant ; the apartment, if in the summer season, to be in a garden house ; 
and, in the winter, a chamber, with an entertainment, or collation. 

We shall exhibit another example of daily occurrence ; whereby appear more pas- 
sions ; in order to shew, that they must not be wanting in such representations. 

EXAMPLE II. Of an Accident which happened at a painter's House. 

The artist had one morning a fine plaister-figure and two busts brought home ; and 
setting them out of the way on a chest of drawers, and then paying the figure-maker 
let him depart : a boy of seven or eight years of age sitting near the drawers, eating 
a piece of bread and butter, saw this ; who, after he had eaten, and his father left the 
room, took a chair, in order to view them near; and thinking them play-things, must 
needs take them down : but either through their weight, or the tottering of the chair, 
whereon he stood, he dropped the figure. On this noise the father, apprehensive of 
what had happened, came down into the room, and beheld the misfortune with sor- 
row. The boy affrighted looked about for a corner to hide in; and at last run to 
his mother, hanging about her neck, and begging her to save him. She, though 
concerned for the damage, yet desired the father to consider the child's innocence ; 
upon which, and the intreaty of his daughter, who had rushed into the room, on 
hearing the outcry, he was pacified ; ordering the maid-servant to gather up the 
broken parts, and to fling them away : after which he took the two busts in his 
arms, and returned to his room. 

Although this accident be in itself of no great moment, yet it will furnish matter 
enough for a mode-painter, as well as the contrary, to fill three cloths with : being 
full of expressive passions, elegance, and variety ; and as rich in subject as if it were 
a fiction. 

It cannot be denied, that this subject, though no history, is of an historical nature, 
and requires as much pains as treating some fictions out of Homer or Virgil. We 
grant, indeed, that the nature of it gives us liberty of adding what ornaments, or 
taking away what heavy by-works we please, since we are masters of our own inven- 
tions, and can manage our thoughts as we think fit, till we have brought them to our 
liking ; which is a licence not allowable in other kinds of history ; nevertheless when 
we have a mind to exhibit an accident like the preceding, we must confine ourselves 
to all the particulars of it, though no history ; because by abating or leaving out any 
of them, it would make no impression on us. This example then, though only an 
introduction to such sort of compositions, yet requires a punctual imitation ; and we 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 121 

get in time richer in those inventions by daily occurrences. They must he even 
pleasant to painters in the grand manner, since they recreate tlie mind, require no 
reading, and may in great numbers be met with at leisure times. Princes often dis- 
guise in mean habits for their diversion; and citizens and commonalty in rich ones 
for the same reason ; because any sort of variety pleases ; and each seeks his grati- 
fication foreign to his usual way of living. 

But it is more easy for a citizen to play a citizen's part than any other; and for a 
painter to keep to the management of what he daily meets with, than any thing else; 
since the mind is like a glass ball, hung up in the middle of a room, which receiver 
all the objects present. Thus liubens and Van Dyk, by daily conversing with the 
great at court, were fixing their thoughts on what is sublime and lofty in the art ; 
Jordaans and Rembrandt again, on what is city-like, and ISomboccio and Brauwer, 
on what is most vulgar and mean. Thus each in his way, according to his conver- 
sation with people like himself. 

The following accident is as remarkable as the former : 

This composition exhibits a mother holding a looking-glass before her child. 
The woman sits upright, with her back against the light, close to a window, which 
runs to the point of sight, and is but half seen ; through which window she receives 
her light a little fronting ; her dress is a long dark blue upper garment, and her under 
one, having long sleeves, is light gold colour, with purple reflections ; with her left 
hand she holds the looking-glass upright in her lap ; looks at the child with a smile, 
yet her mouth somewhat open ; her head, in profile, inclines a little to the left shoul- 
der ; her right hand behind her rests on a small round table, whereon lies an open 
book, a frame with needlework, and some bobbins of silk. The child standing be- 
fore the glass, with a fool's cap on his head, holds an apple against his left breast in 
his right hand ; and has his left arm with a double fist up to his ear, and whimpering 
threatens to beat the glass ; he turns to the left, looking angrily at it, and draws back 
with his right leg: his coat, which is white, is looped on the right shoulder, and his 
left breast bare; he is girt with a rose-colour girdle. A maid-servant standing be- 
hind him, is seen fronting, with her back standing somewhat out to the left ; her gar- 
ment is greyish violet, with a white cloth about her body; in her left hand she holds 
a key against her breast, and under her arm she has a dusting brush ; her right hand 
rests on her mistress's arm, and with her head flung back towards her left side, 
laughs so heartily as to discover her teeth; her hair is tied under a cap, except a 
black twisted lock coming over her bosom on the leftside; her linen sleeves are 
turned up to her elbows. Close behind the mistress haugs a light grey curtain, 

VOL. I. R 

122 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

mostly shaded by a pier of Hie walling between the windows ; on which the maid 
gives a large ground-shade, which throws off the child. On the left side of the com- 
position a door is seen half open. Forward appears a cushion on a cricket, whereon 
lies a tabby cat ; and by it some little flowers, or a withered chaplet, and a timbrel. 
Now, with respect to this representation, consider the following 


Here is something more to be remarked than the innocence of the child ; he grows 
angry at seeing himself in the glass, imagining, that another child (because his own 
dress is unknown to him) is come to fright him, and get his apple. The chief design 
of the arrangement is, to express exactly the proper passions of each figure, accord- 
ing to its nature and quality ; which not only effectually appear by the postures, but 
also by the dresses assigned them, and their colours ; to wit, in the child, innocence; 
in the maid, folly; in the mother, moderation. 

Although this composition be no more a fact than the former, yet it affects our 
passions as a truth ; and because the dresses do not quite chime in with the mode, 
it may, if well painted and executed, hang better near an antique history or fable, 
than one of a company of gentlemen and ladies, whose rich dresses shine with gold 
and silver. Moreover the dresses varying from the present mode, the picture will 
maintain a decorum, which will not abate in a thousand years, if the circumstances 
of the by-works be well observed. By introducing a timbrel instead of marbles, 
nickers, or cockals, and giving the maid a dusting-brush instead of a broom or mop, 
and placing by the mistress an open book or a frame of needlework, instead of a 
spinning-wheel, we shall perceive the childish simplicity of the first, the servitude of 
the second, and the tutelage or command of the third. The very cat lying by the 
dead flowers on the cricket intimates childish play, and a fondness to scatter all 
things about the room. 

If the artist find no taste in representing things in the antique way, and yet think 
the modern too mean, such an one may very commendably employ himself in painting 
such subjects as the following: 

Picture of Virtue. 
She appears sitting composedly before a large looking-glass, the frame whereof is 
carved and gilt, and adorned with monsters ; she views herself in it, holding a 
rounded serpent twined with laurel; her aspect is sedate, her sway majestic ; and 
she is attired like a ROMA : near her stand some children attentively viewing the 
frame, and, with a general laugh, pointing at the monsters. One of these children 
wears a fool's cap ; another has a nest of birds ; a third has a jingling iron ; a fourth, 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 12$ 

a shell of water, out of which He blows hubbies with a reed ; and a fifth is playing 
with a puppet ; these children are partly hoys and partly girls. 

!' The sense of this picture is evidedt ; but, if the curious want further scope, let them 
consider only, for instance, in what a good and bad family consists, and they will 
Bud, that there are four sorts of people : namely, in a good family, a prudent and res- 
pected father ; a careful and good-natured mother ; obedient children, and humble 
and honest servants: the father gives law; the mother enforces it to the children; 
and both they and the servants obey : again, the father punishes; the mother recon- 
ciles, an. I the children love and fear: a good father is also liberal in the support of 
his family; the careful mother manages with frugality, yet with honour: all is iu 
m ace and order, and virtue their aim. 

Iu a bad family, we contrarily see the father careless ; the mother lavish ; the boys 
wanton; the' girls pert; and the servants idling and dishonest: the father indolent; 
the mother unreasonably indulgent to the children ; the girls saucy and proud ; the 
boys rampant and gamesome ; and the servants catching at what they can lay hold of, 
thinking it best to fish in troubled waters, and feast daily at their masters expense. 
Again, there are other objects iu a divided family; whin the man is pious and the 
wife a worldling, we see frequently wicked children; contrarily, a worldly-minded 
man and a religious woman often have virtuous children ; the reason is plain. 

If such things as these be well observed, they furnish abundance of matter, and 
produce an extraordinary effect in any family-occurrences, in what condition and on 
what occasion soever we consider them ; whether in prosperity or adversity; great 
and noble, common or in the mean state; and as well in their manners and carriage 
as their dress : and if these things be well executed, ivkether hi the antique or the 
modem taste, they are each way commendable subjects for an artist. 



As a connexion to what precedes touching the two aforesaid manners, I shall give 
some further thoughts, though short of what can be said of those two unlike sisters, 
since the field is so large, that I could write a whole treatise on that subject only. 

Representation of Vanity. Plate XX. 
This composition exhibits a hall, which receives its light through a large window 
on the right side : behind against the wall stands a table, on which is a large ccelestial 

R 2 

124 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

globe : at the foot of this globe lies an open book : on the left side of the point of 
sight is seen, through a door-way going down with steps, a visto, with part of a foun- 
tain ; and on the side, which runs to the point of sight, several vases and busts of 
famous heroes : on the left side of the apartment is a closet ascended to by two steps, 
between two hand-rails: in the middle of the piece forward we place a round table, 
decked with all sorts of women's furniture, as a looking-glass, boxes, &c. At the 
window are seen two children, a boy and girl ; the boy, with a shell in his hand, is 
leaning on the frame of the window, and blowing bubbles through a reed or pipe ; the 
girl, who is got on a foot-stool, supports herself on her right hand, and, laughing, points 
with the other at a flying bubble: upon which the boy looks back, holding the reed 
or pipe with his right hand in the shell : on the right side of the hindmost table stands 
a philosopher in study, with a finger at his forehead, and holding a pair of compasses 
on the globe in his left hand : by the closet, which is half open, stands an old woman 
looking forwards, with her head fidling, and rubbing her hands : by the further hand- 
rail of the steps, a maid-servant is kneeling, and wiping the said rail with a cloth ; 
having by her a box of sand, a pot with water, and a stiff rubbing-brush : the closet 
is full of plate : at the round table forwards sits a young lady, dressing at the glass ; 
her bosom is open, and she is loosely dressed in fine linen and silk; with her left hand 
she is bringing a right-side hair-lock over her bosom, viewing herself side-ways, and 
with her right hand taking a pearl necklace out of a box : the apartment is of light 
Pisan marble. The philosopher's garment is of dark violet ; that of the boy at the 
window white ; and of the girl, blue : the lady is in white, and light red changeable 
with blue, and she has a beautiful dark blue girdle about her waist ; the old woman's 
garment is greenish blue, somewhat faded, and the sleeves faced with light yellow; 
the maid-servant is in light grey, and has a pearl necklace about her neck : by the 
steps lie a pair of sandals : the round table is covered with a dark green carpet : the 
floor is of stone, and divided into squares ; it may also be of wood. 

I shall now, for certain reasons, give the reader my thoughts of the disposition 
of the objects in this subject. But first, he will much oblige me, if he will please 
to examine what I have hitherto said, and shall say on this head; because he will 
then be enabled to judge, whether it is impossible for me, or some malicious re- 
port, to make the disposition of a picture, with the due actions of the figures, and 
in their proper places and colours, according to rule, because of my want of sight; 
for would these men themselves but open their eyes, they would quickly perceive, 
that disposition depends on positive and certain reasons. 

First, I dispose the apartment with the immoveable objects; after these the figures ; 
and lastly, the colours: whereby I assign regularity. I speak of the moveable ob- 
jects at the same time as I assert the proper place of the window, tables, and closet. 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 125 

Now I do not say, on which side of the table either right or left the lady is sitting; 
because it is needless, and so cannot be disposed otherwise than she is; since the 
looking-, lass must he placed against the light; consequently she ought to front the 
ligh;, that she may see herself in the glass ; for how could she shew her breast front- 
ing, when the face is to lie in profile ? and, were she to bring the lock of hair over her 
bosom with her right hand, and to put the left on the table, she woidd be without 
sway, or good posture, and from head to foot in profile. 

Let us next consider whether the philosopher could be otherwise disposed than 
where he is; on the left it can no ways be, for two reasons. 1. Because the globe 
is on that side very much in shade, and therefore unfit for his conclusions. 2. Be- 
cause he would then be partly in the light, and shew almost the same posture as the 
lady, 'where yet ought to be an opposition. Again, were he stauding before the table, 
or globe, then we should neither see his motion, nor his contemplation ; wherefore no 
place suits him better, or is more proper than where he stands : by which, this advan- 
tage also accrues, that because he now receives more shade than light, the lady 
thereby gets more beauty and decorum: he can also more cominodiously view the 
globe, and make his remarks by turning his body ; because one side is just fronting 
the light, and the other contrary to it. 

It may be the same with the old woman next the closet ; since it is impossible, that 
she and the rest of the figures can be otherwise disposed with so much advantage and 

This design could also be well managed in portraiture ; especially in & family-piece 
of man, wife, children, and a servant; for we find daily occurrences enough agreeing 
with such a representation. 

But to discourse clearly on this composition, and to shew, that it is founded on 
good reason, we shall make some further remarks upon it : I say then, that it will 
bear divers interpretations, though, as will appear below, they may be brought into 
one : the lady at the table and the old woman at the closet both signify vanity ; and 
yet it may possibly be said, that the former may as well be taken for pride, and the 
latter, as standing before the plate, and, with a smiling countenance, rubbing her 
hands, naturally express covetous?iess. The old man, seen here as a philosopher, may 
consequently signify philosophy. But I say, that this only seems to be so ; because, 
if the explanation take that turn, it cannot be a compendious emblem, but a confused 
medley of divers things, from which no inference can be drawn. 

Wherefore it is proper to explain our thoughts of this composition thoroughly, 
even to the smallest objects, gradually coming forward from the greatest distance. 

The busto's and fountain in the distance, as also the servant cleaning the hand-rail, 
tend altogether to vanity ; as the old man with the globe represents vain contemplation ; 

126 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

for who can penetrate the secrets of God and nature? the .sense of the young lady 
and old woman we have explained before : wherefore the true meaning of this sub- 
ject is only to shew, that all is vanity ; which yet could not be absolutely concluded 
from it, were not the children there; since the other figures and objects might be 
diversly applied, to wit, to pride, covetousness, philosophy, &c. and therefore the 
children, who employ themselves in blowing bubbles, are now the soul of the work: 
and, without them, there would be neither a connexion nor conclusion : even each 
figure would have a distinct signification, and each call fur a distinct apartment : 
and though we were minded to exhibit different passions into the same picture, yet 
something must be appropriated to each of them, in order to shew its meaning: for 
a picture is not in the same case with a frontispiece-plate, wherein is a general repre- 
sentation of the whole subject of the book, viz. the seven wonders, the twelve 
months, &c. 

The aforesaid design is also not much unlike a true history; and might likewise 
serve for a moral emblem ; for each figure has its particular and proper character; 
men incline to study ; women to gather riches and goods ; daughters grow up in 
luxury, and misspend their time; young and innocent children busy themselves in 
trifles ; so that on the whole, the conclusion must be, that each person, in what he 
inclines to, loves vanity. 

If any one here object, that astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy, are not vanities, 
as being ascribed to wise men, he must know, that wise men themselves are, by* some, 
accounted fools ; wherefore f Pythagoras, though a heathen, would not be styled 
wise; but a friend and lover of good discourses and sciences. Knowledge often makes 
wise men presumptuous, and prevents their considering, with the philosopher, that 
sciences are vanity. Thus we see daily, that the rich are haughty and disdainful ; the 
handsome, proud and voluptuous ; though beauty and pleasures, like a morning- 
flower, decay with the evening, and we may well say with the poet, that voluptuous- 
ness is a shadow, and a momentary delight ; and therefore 

Poor creatures 

They are, who covet shadows and transient happiness. 

All which things occur almost daily ; even in one and the same family ; as we have 
more largely intimated in the preceding chapter. 


* The Sophists termed wisdom foolish, scandalous, and vile. 

f Pythagoras of Samos. He rejected the name of wise, which was given him. 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 127 

Some perhaps may censure me for introducing into the aforesaid example such a 
trifle as a pair of sandals, which Seem to belong to the old woman : but I say, they 
are not trifles, but proper for such women as make idols of their houses, and chuse 
rather to go barefoot over their floors than bedaub them, though they have their 
maids always at their elbows with woollen cloths to clean after them. But since 
this sacrifice to neatness of houses is here, in Holland, too obvious, we shall urge no 
further, but, for peace sake, silently reflect, oh ! the vanity of a loo spruce Dutch 
woman: even the maid, as dependant on the mistress, humours her vain desires; 
however, since those serviceable creatures in their conditions have likewise some- 
thing, which shews vanity, I give the servant, in the example before us, her corals or 
pearls about her neck, although she were as ugly faced as a wizard, or like the pea- 
sants in Latona's time, when turned into frogs; for how ordinary soever those 
women are, they think themselves handsome, if they have but a coral necklace and 
curled hair ; wherefore it is plain, that such circumstances are needful, and have, in 
their places, a good effect. 

As for the ordonnance of dresses in this example, w?or/e-painters may dispose them 
as they please, agreeable to their choice : I have only sketched them here, to shew, 
that Ave may represent a Vanitas as well in the antique maimer as in the common 
way of mode-painters. 



VV e need not doubt, whether the art of painting- were, or will be, otherwise than 
it is at this time, with respect to its different choices; because from the beginning, 
there were mode-pa.\ liters; and as each climate has its particular customs in dressing, 
so eac!) nation follows its own fashion ; whence it appears, that anciently, as well as 
now, men were of opinion, that their own was the best, without giving any reason for 
it. The Eastern nations have their particular dress; and the Northern, theirs: these 
last prefer cloth, wool furs before the finest and thinnest silks of the East; and thus 
it fares with all other dresses. Each nation, I say, whether Italians, Spaniards, 
French, kc. cherishes its own mode; wherefore it is no wonder, that painters follow 
those, which best suit their choice: nevertheless the case of art is, in this particular, 
like that of religion ; there is but one true ; the rest are sects ; so that the dress which 
is the most constant, and remains always the same, is also the best: nevertheless we leave 
each nation to its own choice. 

That the modern paintings vary from time to time in goodness, and are continually 
decreasing in that respect, is not to be doubted ; since we have daily instances of it 

128 Of Things Antique and Modem. 

in many, which are full of mistakes : but let me ask, whether the Tuscan order 
which is the most simple and strong, do not require a good architect as well as the 
Corinthian, or any other. 

The wior/e-paintings agree in all parts with the antique subjects, in relation to art ; 
that is, in design, disposition, colouring, light, and shade, by-ornaments, fyc. 

An ingenious w«orfi'-painter ought to take care, not to meddle witli the antique, or 
to mingle one with the other; for that would be an unpardonable mistake ; since he 
may be sufficiently furnished with modern matter for his study. Is it not great folly 
to introduce foreign words into a tongue, which is of itself copious enough? Why 
are the learned Hooft and Huigens so famous ? is it not because of the force and pu- 
rity of their style? especially that of Vondel, who therefore is justly called the Dutch 

We see daily how imperfect and defective the fashion is; each day creates an al- 
teration, and each mode we think best, if it get but general approbation ; as may be 
proved, if we consider, how ridiculous our fore-fathers habits seem in our eyes, and 
consequently how much he would be mocked, who should appear in one of bis great 
grandfather's ; and would he not be thought a madman ? The case is the same, with 
respect to the old representation of dresses, with their stiff double ruffs, close-waisted 
and pinked doublets, &c. Does any thing seem more odd to us ? and are not such 
old paintings, though well handled, much slighted ? and what reason have we to think, 
that the present mode will better please our successors, when we ourselves even dis- 
like that of the year past. 

Those who take to such a choice are not qualified to treat any history of antiquity : 
how ridiculous would it be, to dress queen Esther in a stiff-bodied gown, bedecked 
with ribbons, a ruff about her neck, a wide and quilted petticoat, laced ruffles setting 
close at the hands, and a point-of-*Sjy«/M head-dress, instead of a diadem, and every 
thing else answerable, and with her king Ahasiicrus sitting in a Spatiish leather chair, 
with a narrow-crowned hat on his head, a ruff about his neck, a short doublet with 
long sleeves, and over it a short cloak lined with fur, wide breeches with knee-knots, 
cannioned stockings, roses in his shoes, a Spa?ush dagger by his side, gloves in his 
hand, &c. and, in the offskip, Ilaman in a red waistcoat with silver buttons, and a 
linen pair of drawers, standing on the ladder with the hangman, and a Franciscan 
friar at the foot of it, holding up a crucifix to him? would not this be a fine com- 
position? and yet such things happen.* 

* Such mistakes arc to be found in the works of the most celebrated painters, espe- 
cially of the Venetian school, who considered evidently the efforts of this sublime, art as 
if meant to gratify the setises only. E. 

Of Things Antique and Modern. 12<) 

Nov.- if it be asked whether the motfe-painters; who paint, markets, kitchens, and 
the like, are not to be reckoned in the number of figure-painters ; — I say, they are ; 
so far as they keep to such subjects; nay, were they to paint fictitious stories, or even 
parables, which are tied to no time ; as, of Lazarus and the rich man ; of the publican ; 
prodigal son, and the like; or any daily occurrence; since such representations are 
the more affecting, as they shew foreign dresses; and foreign modes being a rarity, 
are not so soon disliked as our own. But such painters must not meddle with scrip- 
tural facts, or the stories of Ovid, Virgil, and others, which are. tied to time, as 1 have 
befoiv intimated. 

Yet siieh is the unaccountable rashness of some, that they dare represent a Sopho- 
nisbd entirely in the present mode; velvet gown, white satin petticoat trimmed with 
gold laces, laced ruffles, an attire of false hair on her head, white slippers, and in an 
apartment hung with gilt leather, with a fire in it; and the floor of wood, wherein 
the grain and knots are nicely observed ; the room furnished with plush chairs, 
fringed and brass-nailed; over the chimney, large china dishes'; and against the 
hangings, shelves with tea-furniture ; a parrot in a copper cage, &c. Besides a black 
seen coming to present her a modern gold cup, or a cut crystal drinking-glass on a 
silver salver; he is in a livery, trimmed with guimp-laces and a shoulder-knot: her 
dostly bed and even floor-matting are not forgotten. 

Lucretia and Dido they treat in the same manner ; against the wall of the apart- 
ment of the latter hangs a plan of the additions to Amsterdam, printed for Allard 
on the Dam. 

These artists would wish to impress the histories of Plutarch, Livy, Tacitus, and 
such authors, on the minds of the people, and yet do it as ridiculously as the poet 
who, in order to make his verses known to the world, laid them on a river running 
towards a town, imagining, that on the paper's swimming thither, it would be taken 
up and read, and his reputation thereby spread; but growing wet, it sunk, and hap- 
pened to he taken up by a mud-man, and flung with the mud into his barge. Thus 
the poet was disappointed. 

Ye artists, then, who are willing to improve, weigh well what you are about; keep 
to the edges of the water, that if you cannot swim, you may not drown ; since he who 
is fearless of danger, often perishes in it. The goodness of a knife lies not in a silver 
handle; or that of wine, in a gold cup: be informed in truth; since your work, 
though ever so neatly executed, will not plead your cause to advantage without it. 

Two painters meeting on a time happened to have Words about Precedence; An- 
tiquo, who thought himself the wisest, would take the upper hand of Modo, without 
more ceremony ; but Modo, who insisted not less on his honour and reputation would 
not yield to him ; and, being somewhat younger and sturdy, punched him so violently 

vol. i. s 

130 Gf Things Anrique and Modern. 

in the breast, that they both fell. After they had lain a while, and recollected them- 
selves, Modo began chiding; but Antiquo said — What! ic ill you not give me the pre- 
cedence! Not I, says Modo, 1 am as good as you; and what signify words! draw 
your sword, or else I will run this knife through you. This treatment was too gross 
for the proud Antiquo ; wherefore, full of rage, he clapped his hand to his sword, 
and the battle ensued, which was very fierce and doubtful. All who saw it stood 
amazed, calling out gentlemen, hold in, hold in! hut to no purpose: for each con- 
tinued pushing, though without hurt to the other. One Justus happened to approach 
in the midst of the fray, and perceiving they were both his friends, interposed his 
good offices, and parted them. When they were somewhat pacified, Justus asked 
what induced them to fight with such unequal weapons; and so rashly to endanger 
their lives. Hoiv, says Antiquo, are you the only man who do not know, that Modo 
has forced and transported abundance of honest people ! Has he not brought the clmste 
Lucretia and virtuous Sophonisba, under false appearances from their own countries to 
Amsterdam, in order to make a jest of them ! Do not you know how lie has subjected 
the innocent and pious Esther, with the whole court of Ahasuerus, to the tyranny of 
the Spaniards? Moreover he robs me daily, and will not give place; now what think 
you, have not I just cause of complaint ! Hereupon Justus asked, whether the quarrel 
arose from any thing but precedence ; but Modo, unwilling to hear an answer, said 
in anger — All that my lord lays to my charge, I retort on him ; how many things has he 
stolen from me! helmets, gauntlets, stays, &c. Ah! have you forgot that knavish trick, 
which has made so much noise in the world, when he conjured *He\iodorus, the church- 
robber, out of Judea, into St. Peter's church at Rome, with intention to steal the sacred 
treasure in spite of the pope ! but, to cover his design, and not to raise suspicion, in case 
of miscarriage, he discovered the plot to pope Urban VIII. who instantly being carried 
thither in a chair, asked the robber whether he was not mistaken ! and whether he did 
not know that Jerusalem was meant, not Rome ? Do you think then, that the holy fa- 
ther, had he looked back and seen the high-priest of Jerusalem in the holy of holies, 
would have let that offender go unpunished ! What is your judgment of this sample, 
should I give place to Antiquo? Pray, said Justus, let reason then take place. Yet 
Antiquo bawled out — -Let me have my buskins and Roman coat of armour, which he 
robbed me of, and I will acquit him of the rest. To which Modo said, — First restore 
me my great grandfather'' s helmet and coat of mail, which you made a present of to iEneas, 
when he was flying from Dardania; you may keep the gauntlets : but Antiquo replied, 
— Your great grandfathers armour I presented to Dominichino, and the gauntlets to 

'■"2 Maccab. hi. 

Of Things Antique and Modem. 131 

Reubens, who has bestowed them on one of the life-guards of Thalestris, queen of the 
Amazons. The conclusion of the matter was this; Justus advised, since neither 
could restore any thing, that they should drink the question, and take care, for the 
future, not to steal from each other. 

I question not, but the reader will, by this story, sufficiently understand my 

We have formerly asserted, that those who daily converse with mean and bad 
people commonly become like them ; as those contrarily who keep company with 
the well-bred and virtuous become good. Custom, says Horace, is a second na- 
ture; and the proverb intimates, keep honest company, and honest thou shalt be: he 
then is happy, who, having a true sense of good and bad, chuses the best and most 
profitable, and governs all he does by that standard. He, who has accustomed 
himself to a bad manner, cannot easily get rid of it, perhaps will retain it all his 
life: he, contrarily, who gives in to what is good, will reject evil, because it is 
against his inclination. 

Reasoning thus, it is easy to apprehend, how beneficial it is for a Tyro to inure 
himself to any such fine things as are proper for his study, and to reject the imper- 
fect and unnecessary. Too many goods, the famous Bartholet used to say, are no 

Here, pray observe an emblematic composition of a painter debauched by ex- 
cessive reading of all sorts of unprofitable books, in order to shew, that none must 
be used but such as are proper for his study ; which Seneca affirms, saying, that tve 
ought to study few, but good books. The cause of the aforesaid painter's disorder 
be also attributed to the vast quantity of useless prints, draivings, &c. he consulted, 
which are as great enemies to the best thoughts as an excess in books. 

Here is seen an antique table, laid with boards, in a painting room, and in the 
middle of it, a dish with a cake in the shape of a pyramid, and by it a cup. Four 
women are sitting at the table, viz. Painting, Statuary, Architecture, and the Art 
of Engraving, each having her proper marks of distinction. Judgment, leading 
Beauty, and followed by Virtue, is entering the room, and approaching the table, 
where they are welcomed. At which instant, Prudence is driving thence Vice, re- 
presented as a hunch-backed dwarf, as also a chimera. The room is hung with 
histories, landscapes, architecture, and prints. Antiquity is sitting in a niche, hold- 
ing some medals in her hand, representing ancient lustre. The aforesaid door, 
where judgment, Sec. enter, is behind to the left; and Vice, &c. on the right side, 
are driven forwards out of the room. The chimera has eagle's claws, dragon's wings, 
a serpent's tail, long ne<;k, a woman's head, beset with serpents, and the belly full 
of hanging teats. 

s 2 

132 Of Things Antique and Modern. 

Let us then seriously chuse, out of our collection, the materials which will best 
serve our purpose, whether they be plaister-figures, prints, drawings, academy-fi- 
gures, or other models, rejecting every thing that is foreign to our study. 

Since Ave have hitherto spoken of what is modem, it will not be amiss to make 
some short observations on the antique. 

He, who would nicely 'follow the antique, ought to know, that it consists in these 
two qualities, viz. beauty and goodness : Beauty again lies in a perfect proportion of 
the members, as we have shewed in the seventh chapter of the first book; void good- 
ness in the grace arising from the motion of the members; which motion ought to be 
free, and without exaggeration. Thus much as to the nudities. 

The draperies which are icell cast, and so adjusted as not to hinder the graceful 
motions of the members, are certainly the best; as we evidently see in the works of 
Raphael, Poussin, and some others, who practised the antique. 

The light, and what else is requisite in a perfect piece, ought all to be most 
beautifully chosen. 

In this manner we must also consider landscapes, architecture, and other embel- 
lishments : all ought to be either pure antique, or entire modern. 

We shall here subjoin one other composition for the conclusion of this book. 

Picture representing a driving away of the Mode, or what is Modern, from the 


Instead of Beauty and Virtue, which in the former are led by Judgment, we may 
introduce here a beautiful and modest young virgin, attired in thin linen, which dis- 
covers the naked; on her hand sits a phoenix, and on her head is a chaplet of flowers. 
Judgment may be set off with a gold fillet or diadem on its head, and a sceptre in 
its hand. Instead of deformed Vice, and the chimera, we may exhibit a flying 
young damsel in a stiffened gown, and high laced head-dress; with a sable tippet 
about her neck; her arm-sleeves full of lace: moreover she has shoes, stockings, 
and gloves; and under her arm is a basket of china-ware, and mushrooms; which, 
by her rude motion, she is dropping. Prudence is beating her with a looking-glass ; 
holding in her other hand an arrow twined with a serpent. The aforesaid young 
virgin's chaplet ought to be composed of small and everlasting flowers, viz. Ptar- 
mica Austriaca and Gnaphalium. 

The mushrooms signify short duration, or sudden rise and decay. 

The sceptre of judgment is a long thin rod, with a knob on the top. 







Xt is remarkable, that, though the management of the colours in a painting, 
■whether of figures, landscape, flowers, architecture, &c. yields a great pleasure to 
the eye, yet hitherto no one has laid down solid rules for doing it with safety and 
certainty. Contrast in motion is founded on reasons, which by practice we can 
in a short time retain, and inculcate to others; as is also the division or propor- 
tion of the members ; since according to Albert Durer, it may be mathematically 
demonstrated. The same may be said of lights and shades, by means of perspec- 
tive. All this may be thoroughly learnt in our juvenile years; but the disposing 
of colours by and over each other, in order to bring out a good union and harmony 
is not, to this day, fixed on certain principles. Mere chance is herein our only 

An engraved, or etched print, beautifully designed and disposed, and agreeably 
lighted and shaded, is very commendable ; but a picture, which, besides those quali- 
ties, requires an artful diversity of colouring, merits the highest praise. 

Nevertheless masters have, in their colouring, their particular manners : one has 
a faint manner ; another a dark one ; another a grey manner ; some have a flaring 

* It is highly important for the student to observe, that most of the observations 
in the preceding parts of this Work treat of painting as intellectual; this part chiefly 
considers it in its sensual properties. E. 

134 Of Colouring. 

manuer ; others a muddy one, &c. occasioned by their not knowing, that colours 
require an orderly disposition ; like an ingenious gardener, who, in the production 
of choice, beautiful, and large flowers, considers what ground is proper, and which 
needs dryness, and which moisture, and what sorts thrive best in each ; which re- 
quire sun, and which call for shade ; which want improvement from pidgeon's dung, 
and which from dog's dung ; in order thereby to make a greater advantage than 
other people do : in like manner, a painter, if he makes thorough inquiries into 
the natures and effects of colours, and against what grounds they are best set off, and 
will best answer their purposes, shall be convinced that he gains a point above others. 
By seeking much is found, and, notwithstanding any rubs in the way, we must re- 
new our attempts. How many attacks have I made on this secret ere 1 could make 
a breach in it? had I not imitated Alexander, and cut the Gordian knot, I should 
hare been still to seek. I shall now gladly impart to the artists all my discoveries 
and improvements, and refer it to his judgment, whether they be of any moment. 

The number of the colours is six; and they are divided into two sorts. 

The former sort contains the yellow, red, and blue, which are called jwimilive co- 

The latter is a mixed sort, consisting of green, purple, and violet ; these have the 
name of broken colours. 

White and black are not reckoned among the colours, but rather potentials or ef- 
ficients ; because the others cannot have their effects without the help of them. 

These colours have also their emblematic significations, and particular proper ties* 

The white is taken in general for light; and black for darkness. 

The yellow for lustre and glory. 

The red for power, or love. 

The blue for the deity. 

The purple for authority and jurisdiction. 

The violet for subjection. 

The green for servitude. 

The colours considered in themselves are certain faculties, imperceptible with- 
out the interposition of and laying on a body ; like the moon, which could not re- 
ceive her light from the sun, much less communicate it to us, otherwise than by 
means of a body. White is also that from which the colours come forth, and the 
body whereby they become perceptible to us. 

In reference to the Art of Painting, the colours give life to all things ; without 
those it would be impossible to distinguish between life and death, wood and stone, 
air aud water, gold and silver, nay, light and darkness; they have a particular 
great power, uniting by their agreement, separating by their force and crudity ; they 

Of Colouring. 135 

cause some tilings to disappear in thin air, and force others to appear out of the back- 

Their variety produces the utmost charms and harmony, as well in nature as in 
a picture; especially, when in the latter they are disposed by a judicious hand; 
for what is more beautiful in a landscape than an azure sky, green fields decked 
with a thousand variously-coloured flowers, differently-coloured grounds ; this rus- 
set, or yellow, that green or grey, as each requires ; also the ornament of the brown 
cypress-tree, the grey willow, the fair olive, the white poplar, the green alder, the 
red fir, the joyful linden, each according to its nature: add to this the diversity of 
stone-work ; how agreeable seems the porphiry of tombs, the serpentine-stone 
obelisks, the white marble vases and termes; even architecture receives a vast ad- 
dition by the different colours of stones; as when the dark grey stone, free-stone, 
white marble, and such like, are finely matched and put together; and the building 
within is adorned with red-speckled-greenish jasper, porphiry, and marble ; in the 
niches, figures, and bass-reliefs surrounded with ornaments of gold, silver, copper, 
and alabaster; and the floors iidaid with all sorts of costly stones; as lapis lazuli, 
porphiry, and variegated marble, in order to please the eye. 

But all depends on an orderly disposition. It is impossible to effect any thing 
charming, with such costliness, if those colours be not duly matched and artfully 
placed : it is therefore highly necessary, that the artist know perfectly their natures 
and particular effects, in order to proceed with certainty; as a good writer, ac- 
quainted with letters, bestows his thoughts on words only. 

As for the disposition, it must be observed, that as in an ordonnance of many 
figures, divided into groups, one of these figures is always the principal, and to 
which all the rest must be subordinate, according to their ranks, so it is the same 
in the colours, that they may altogether produce a good general harmony : nay, 
were it neeessary to place the three capital colours together, fhe yellow must be 
forward, the red next, and the blue behind ; which will produce a fine harmony. 

The three other colours may be disposed in the same manner; when the pur- 
ple is placed forward, the violet may be behind it, and the green last, as being the 
weakest. These latter colours are called weak and broken ; because they possess 
very much the qualities of the former; the purple, for instance, being produced 
by a mixture of red with blue; the violet the same, and the green, of blue 
with yellow. 

But though each of the colours have its different force and effect, yet they do 
yiot observe any particular rank or order; because a strong colour sometimes hap- 
pens to come before a weak one ; and the contrary, as occasion requires ; for were 
they always to keep order, and the yellow to be principal, so that the others must 

136 Of Colouring. 

diminish gradually, there would then be no difference, but the effect always one 
and the same ; whereas it is here as with an actor, who sometimes play a king - , at 
others a god ; now a man, then a woman ; now a principal character, then a mute 

Yet if the principal part in a picture, whether through choice or necessity, con- 
sist of white, light, or weak colours, the parts about it, how beautiful soever, will 
be no obstruction, if they be but variously and well ordered. 

Again, if the said principal part consist of yellow, red, blue, or green, and be 
thereby set off, all the other parts ought to be intermixed here and there with small 
portions of this strong and predominant part, as if they were enamelled with it ; 
yet in such manner, that they seem to owe their origin to the said ruling part, 
and, though separated, yet have but one effect, and unite the whole ; like the great 
body of the moon, surrounded with glittering stars. 

This suffices for the ordering the colours in general ; and yet they cannot have 
their full effects, or due decorum, without chusing proper back-grounds for setting 
them off agreeably : avoiding those which create confusion, or are too harsh and 
discordant. Of the former sort are such as follow : 

White suits on all sorts of dark grounds, except warm yellow. 
Light yellow suits on purple, violet, blue, and green. 
Light blue or green, violet and yellow, not warm or fiery. 
Light green has a good effect on purple, violet, and blue. 
Light violet has the same on green and blue. 

On white suits black, violet, green, and purple ; but not yellow or blue. 
On light yellow suits violet, purple, and green. 
On pale red suits green and blue. 
On pale green suits purple, blue, yellow, and violet. 
On pale blue suits dark yellow, red, and green. 

But were we to lay dark blue on light yellow, or the contrary, it would appear 
very harsh and disagreeable. 

There are other colours which are neither harsh nor disagreeable in themselves, 
and yet appear unpleasant and without force : as if one or the other were quite 
dirty and muddled; such are, purple on red; beautiful red on yellow; or beau- 
tiful green on yellow ; purple ou blue or violet, and the contrary ; also white on 
warm yellow, and the contrary; or red upon red, or blue upon blue, as experience 

Touching the colours which are used in reflecting on changeable silk, I shall 
say this: that with musk-colour suits best masticot, with light purple or violet in 
the reflections ; with ash-colour, blue suits yellowish white, reflected with rose- 

Of Colouring. 137 

colour; with orpiment agrees dark purple with blue reflections ; on beautiful green 
suits rose-colour, with light blue reflections ; and with purple or violet agrees Naples- 
yellow, with sea-green reflections. 

But we must especially observe, that all reflecting or changeable stuffs keep their 
own colour in the shade, to wit, that of the main light; for we must not commit the 
same mistake as the old masters, who painted all changeable draperies with two 
colours only ; as a yellow changeable stud", with a blue reflection ; they made the 
main light yellow, and the shade blue; and thus they managed all others. Truly a 
great mistake, and quite contrary to nature. 

Since we have thus far engaged in the by-colours, and their effects and harmony, 
we shall also treat of those which tend in particular to embellish a landscape, history, 
or other painting. 

On grass pale red is exceedingly well set off, and appears pleasant to the eye ; as 
also dark violet, dark blue; light yellow changeable silk, with red and white; and 
light blue, with purple or violet reflections. 

On russet earth grounds agrees a dark violet, blue, and dark green. 

On dark grey-stone (commonly called blue-stone) agrees light red, green, yellow 
and yellowish white. 

On free-stone suit all dark colours, viz. purple, violet, blue, and green. 

But We must not use a colour of pure lake and white; nor single light and red 
orpiment, without urgent necessity, and then very sparingly. The green and red 
of one tint, either in light or shade, also disagree, on account of their harshness; 
wherefore they must not come together. 

In a piece of many or few figures, which is to hang against a dark ground, or in a 
shady place ; also in a landscape, against dark and close boscage, white has a fine 
effect; especially Xaples-yeUow, red and light orpiment, vermillion, and fine light 

Again, in a light apartment of white marble, or light free-stone, or in a landscape 
painted light, clear and full of sky, blue, purple, violet, green and black have good 
effects ; whereas the colours before-named are, in this case, not only disagreeing, 
but thev also look weak, and without strength ; except white, which cannot be used 
too much, since it is no colour, and there suits any where, except against skies. 

Nevertheless I do not here assert, that the embellishments, in the aforesaid pic- 
tures, must consist only of light and warm colours; but that they be intermixed 
with some dark and weak ones ; and that in the latter pictures, where we use dark 
and weak colours for the by-ornaments, we must dispose some light and warm ones 
among them. 

IVow some may possibly think, because we place blue by the other colours, that 

VOL. I. T 

138 Of Colouring. 

such would obstruct the offskip ; or that the lointains, which, by reason of distance, 
are commonly represented blue, Mould be damaged by so beautiful a .spot : but this 
doubt may be soon cleared up, by considering-, that I do not chuse here all dark 
colours ; but that the offskip will thereby in some measure appear more distant . faint, 
and uniting. It is also true, that blue in a landscape is often harsh, and makes the 
painting look flaring ; but by the darkness it becomes, in this case, soft, natural, aud 

Besides blue, I mention also violet, green, &c. but my meaning thereby is not, that 
it is indifferent where those colours are placed ; as blue against the blue of the sky ; 
green against green trees; violet against a violet-stone, or ground; or light against 
light, and darkness against darkness ; for that would be improper ; because, as there 
is light and darkness in a landscape, so we have always means to give dark and 
light colours their places. 

With a candle-light, either within or without-doors, or other lights proceeding from 
fire, suit violet, purple, blue, green, white, black, red, without exception ; these being 
pieces, in which those colours have an advantageous effect, and wherein they predo- 
minate on their proper grounds,; for yellow and red are almost the same as a burning- 
candle, which has a great effect by night, as it has none in the day-time, because the 
sun-shine makes it hardly perceptible. 

Now as the two former pictures consist of strong colours, viz. white, yellow, and 
red ; and the two latter of purple, violet, blue, and green, yet those of the one sort 
may be joined to those of the other, in order to create an agreeable mixture and har- 
mony, by placing with the strong some that are weaker ; and, on the contrary, letting 
each in its place have the mastery on its proper ground. 

But I have particularly observed, that out of the three aforesaid predominant 
colours, others may be tempered of less force, brown oker with Naples yellow, pink 
with white, and such like; and placing them by the others, as middle colours, we 
may, in conjunction with those others, bring out a great mass; since white has its 
degrees as well as red ; always observing, that the principal must predominate, both in 
force and beauty ; and that those colours, which are drawn from it, be dispersed 
here and there through the whole piece, as being best set off against the general 

Having now plainly shewed the qualities and uses of the colours, and their differ- 
ences, w r e may easily think, that the pictures, wherein they are considered, must 
needs be very affecting. 

We shall not here say, what, where, and how one colour mixed with another is to 
appear ; because it is impossible and unconceivable : the principal method for ob- 
taining this secret is, to observe, to what pitch we ivork up our first and strongest 

Of Colouring. 139 

colour, and to let this colour predominate ; for which reason it is a maxim with some, 
that we must not introduce into a picture more than one capital colour, or a colour 
which represents it: but I have already shewn, that several may in that manuer be 
brought together in the same piece; wherefore the eye and judgment must determine 
this point: for if we find it proper to introduce a beautiful colour where we have a 
mind to place such a one, why should it be bad ? this only makes it so ; it being ac- 
companied '" by-colours, not well ordered ; as warm colours against warm, and 
grey near blue ; whereby those colours have no effect ; or else, by placing too strong 
and too many capital colours by one another, which overcome the aforesaid beauti- 
ful colour, and make the painting look flaring. 

But, that we may not mistake in this point, let us chuse any colour ; and in order 
to find an associate for it, take one which is discordant; as if Ave pitch upon red, 
take a grey one; if dark, a light one, &c. Thus they are, as proceeding from each 
other, joined together; and by such means we can never be at a loss in finding dif- 
ferent colours for different draperies ; yet with this proviso, that in all those colours 
the force or distance of the figures must be observed. 

For the ready obtaining these things, I have found out a very easy method, which 
always shewed me the particularity and harmony of the colours ; it even often helped 
me, with certainty, over the difficulty about the difference of the colours in draperies; 
especially such as were changeable : first I tempered on my pallet, out of my general 
mixtures, three particular colours, viz. one for the main light, one for the half-shade, 
and one for the shade: then I took cards, and severally painted them with one of 
the aforesaid tempered colours ; when they were dry, I placed and replaced and 
shifted them so long till I had satisfied my judgment : sometimes, when this would 
not answer my purpose, I shufHed them ; and then took a parcel from them at ran- 
dom, which, if they happened to please, were my directors. This method helped 
me most in ri fleeting draperies, which I thereby often produced very advantageous, 
and of a fine colour; it was especially useful when I had any doubt whether such or 
such a colour would suit well with such or such a one, or not ; for the cards cer- 
tainly shewed me the thing as well as if I had the stuffs themselves, and saved me 
the trouble of uncertain inquiries. 

It will not be amiss to say something further touching back-grounds : it often 
happens that a persdn sees a colour in a picture, which seems to him very agreeable ; 
and yet, on imitating it, he finds his colour has not the same force and effect, through 
his not observing against Whfct ground that colour was painted', a point worthy of 
the utmost attention, if we would avoid mistakes in colouring ; wherefore we must 
always observe the grounds and places of the colours, if we would avoid our colour 
predominate: orderimr the most disagreeing against it; for instance, to make the 

T 2 

140 Of Colouring. 

yellow predominate place blue against it, or else the darks of other colours ; would 
you abate the force of yellow place green near it ; and, to bring it lower, put a 
colour which proceeds from yellow, whether it be free-stone or any thing else of a 
yellow tint. 

In the same manner you may handle all the rest of the colours, observing, that, as 
the objects diminish by distance, so the colours must proportionably be fainter, and 
gradually more grey; nature shews it: and yet I have found, that we may place 
even a capital colour in the offskip, and it shall be prevented from approaching, by 
accompanying it with colours like it, and drawn originally from it, as we have before 



\V e have before said, that the art of painting is an imitation of nature in her visible 
parts ; nothing is impracticable to it; and yet observes due order in all things; and 
as we have before shewed the general order of the colours, so we shall now handle 
it in particular, with respect to draperies, wherein it chiefly lies. 

Draperies consist of four kinds of things, viz. linen, silks, stuff's, and cloth, and 
these have each their particular natures and manners of folds ; their properties are 
also different; and, to shew them by an example, I shall divide the kiuds into the 
four times of the day. 

luinen draperies are for people in the morning of their lives ; silks, for those in their 
zenith ; stuffs, for those in the afternoon, and cloth, for those in the evening of their 
lives. But to speak more intelligibly, there are four particular conditions of men, 
viz. infancy, youth, manhood, and old age ; aud each provides a dress according to his 
years ; children should be dressed in linen, young people in silks, full grown men and 
women in stuff's, and old people in cloth. 

The colours for the several stages of life are these ; for childhood white, for youth 
green, for manhood red, for old age dark violet, and for death black. 

In the first chapter we have shewed, that white and black are not accounted 
anioug the colours ; since the one is but the parent of colours, and the other the de- 
priver of them ; wherefore we introduce white, as light, without which no colour is 

Darkfillemot or tawny shall serve to represent the earth, or greenness, white to 
shew the ivater, blue the air, red the fire, and black the darkness above the element of 

Of Colouring;. 141 

Jive; for there is not any matter or aether beyond it, which ran contain or be pene- 
trated by the sun's rays. 

^\ , ^' also know, that there are four seasons, viz, the joyful spring, golden summer, 
fruitful autumn, and melancholy winter: in the spring we begin to leave oft' cloth, or 
heavy winter raiment, and to wear thin stuffs, summer and autumn permit us to dress 
according- to their heat, either in linen or silk, wherefore a certain author says, that 
we ought to suit our dresses, as well as our words, to the season. 

The seasons may be also expressed by colours; as the spring by green, summer by 
yellow, autumn by red, and winter by black. 

Yet, among the deities there are some who have always one proper dress and 
colour; as Jupiter a purple mantle, Juno a blue veil, Diana a white and blue 
garment, Neptune a sea-green one, &c. These we cannot alter without committing 
mistake : but the figures must nevertheless be ordered, if possible, where they suit 
best. All brave personages, of either sex, should likewise be clothed in red or warm 

It therefore behoves a prudent artist to have a perfect knowledge of the nature 
and qualities of the aforenamed stuffs ; even, were the figures ever so small, he must 
notwithstanding shew in his work of what sort of stuff's the dresses consist ; and, al- 
though reflections cannot be well observed in small figures, yet we ought to see, by 
the course of the folds, whether the draperies be silk, cloth, or other stuffs. 

A neat painter in little ought also, not only to distinguish the thickness and thin- 
ness of his draperies by their folds and colour, but in the particular nature and 
colour of each drapery, their diminutions and variations; as between thin and thick 
silk opposed to satin, and more such ; for if the eye, at first sight, can perceive and 
distinguish them, we ought also to make them appear what they are ; chiefly in 
small and highly-finished pictures ; as Mieres and others have artfully done to such 
a degree, as plainly to distinguish between silver, pewter, tin, and polished iron. 

As becomingness consists not only in the stuff's, but also in their colours; so, 
knowing that, we shall not easily mistake in the choice of colours and draperies. 

But I must here give some painters a hint about the nature of stuffs, especially 
coloured ones ; they believe they can paint satin after white silk, and changeable 
silk after coloured silk : but this is lame work ; for what in plain silk is shining in 
the light, will often be found quite dark in satin ; wherefore in this nature must be 

For these reasons the eye is pleased, when in a painting of a concourse of people 
or public shew, it can easily distinguish all sorts of people, and the conditions and 
ages of both sexes ; and at the same time their motions according to their natures 
and cpualities, and the dresses and colours whi^h become them ; as, an old man, 

142 Of Colouring. 

heavy and weak, standing on both legs, and sometimes by the help of a stick, be- 
comes a long dark-coloured cloth garment, viz. of umber, dark violet, fillemot, or 
black, fastened with strings or buckles, and setting on him somewhat negligently. 
A young man should appear in a quite contrary motion, as being frolicsome, fickle, 
airy, and standing often on one leg ; he must be painted in a most beautiful purple, 
green, red, or yellow drapery, of light stuff, or thick silk, fastened on the shoulder, 
and not too long, that it may not hinder his continual motion ; because a man, if full 
of fire, loves to have his legs free. Women and young virgins, as being tender, sedate, 
and modest, are chiefly distinguished by their white garments of thin linen, and all 
sorts of airy and womanish-coloured silks, viz. light blue, apple-blossom, pearl- 
colour or light lemon, cast loosely on each other, and in such manner that the beauty 
of the naked may easily appear through them ; their posture is modest and set ; their 
legs close; their bodies upright; their necks bashfully bent ; their arms close to 
their bodies ; their mode gay ; and taking hold of their garments, which hang down 
to the feet. Children are seen mostly in white linen, or lemon, blue or violet-coloured 
silk ; they are often in white vests, without any hanging drapery ; but when they 
have such loose drapery, a small one, about a yard in length, is sufficient, and this 
fastened on the shoulder for security, while they are running, bustling, and rolling on 
the ground. 

This conduct is, in my opinion, of great consequence, though few have observed 
it; nay, even some good painters oftentimes fail in it, making no difference between 
manly and womanish colours; giving an old man a feminine colour, and a manly 
one to a woman ; intermixing them as if there were no certain rules for either : but 
it must be granted, that the silk-colours, which befit a young, sturdy, capricious 
man, are very disagreeable to a virgin, who is tender, weak, more sedate and less 
voluptuous ; he requires strong, she more soft and beautiful colours, yielding a plea- 
sure to the eye. It wovdd also be very improper to paint a child in black ; a young 
man in dark brown colours ; a grown man in party colours ; and an old man in 
beautiful ones. 

I once saw a picture, of an unknown master, in which all the particulars I have 
recommended were plainly and nicely expressed ; it had such an elegance, and gave 
me so great satisfaction, that I stood in surprise. On a mature consideration of this 
painting I perceived, that it was purely designed to answer this very purpose; for I 
saw here and there some aged people, mostly in dark and cloth-colours ; there, again, 
a group of young and gay people in variety of beautiful-coloured stuffs ; also some 
Women in light-coloured changeable silk, &c. near them were some old women in 
dark dresses ; here and there appeared children, running about and playing in the 
sand, all drest in linen habits and soft colours. This ordonnance vastly pleased me, 

Of Colouring. 143 

and put me to consider what it could be likened to ; and I find it to be the same as 
ihe four times of the day; for let us take the children, whether boys or girls, for day- 
break, the young men and women for noon, when the sun is at highest, and the old 
people for night; between mid-day and night Vesper, or the evening, which may 
be represented by joining something of both conditions; also between Aurora and 
mid-day the same; so as to make, in the whole, a proper difference between the 
conditions and ages of men. Here let us not forget, that old people sometimes 
affect white, to shew their becoming children again ; contrarily black is sometimes 
worn by young people, as a thin black veil to signify some sorrow, or else to dis- 
tinguish a married woman from a maiden. 



As we are treating of dresses, it will be proper to say something of the suiting their 
colours ; I mean what lining or furniture each coloured garment requires ; a mat- 
ter of great moment, though as little observed in pictures as the life. Wherefore 
let it be noted, first of the weak colours. 

When the upper garment is white, the lining or undercoat may be rose-colour, 
fillemot, purple, violet, or beautiful sea-green. 

With a light blue garment suits a furniture of yellowish white, violet, dark fille- 
mot, or dark reddish blue. 

A light or pale yellow garment ought to be furnished with violet, sea-green, beau- 
tiful green, dark fillemot and purple. 

A pale green garment must be set off with yellowish white, sky-colour, violet, and 
dark red. 

Now follow the strong colours, and their proper mixtures. 

A lemon-colour garment may be furnished with sea-green, violet, and dark 

A garment of red orpiment colour suits a furniture of violet, sky and greenish 
blue, musk and umber-colours. 

A sky-colour blue garment may be adorned with rose-colour, yellowish white, 
pale yellow, and light beautiful green. 

A fillemot-coloured garment may be furnished with pale yellow, rose-colour, light 
ash-colour, violet, dark purple, and dark green. 

All these colours reversed have the same effects. 

144 Of Colouring. 

Here let it be observed what I mean by the word [fumiture;~\ it is an adorn- 
ment, or setting off; as when a large drapery of a plain colour is adorned with one 
or more small ones, whether a veil, girdle or sleeve-facing, under garment, or breast- 
cloth ; this furniture is either of changeable silk, or of party-coloured stuffs, when 
it is to set oft' a large and plain coloured drapery ; and the contrary the same ; 
as when the large drapery is changeable, the small furniture ought to be of a single 

For further satisfaction I shall subjoin an instruction of what coloured stuffs may 
be best adorned with gold, whether flowered, leafed, or striped. 
On a green ground suit flowers. 
On a purple and violet, narrow sprigs or stripes. 
On musk-colour, close and large flower or leaves. 
On rose-colour, apple-blossom and white thin silk, suit stripes. 
Purple, fillemot, musk-colour, and white also, look well with fringes, either scanty 
or full, according to the substance of the stuff. 

It must be observed, that what I have hitherto said of the ordering of the colours, 
is not to concern a single figure only, but to serve any occasion by a diffusive and 
agreeable intermixture ; nor do I mean, that, among several figures, there must be 
but one with a single-coloured garment; and the rest, of changeable or broken co- 
lours ; for when they are separate, and the draperies large, each in particular is to 
be set off in the maimer I have before laid down ; for instance, if all the small dra- 
peries were separated from the large one, and we dressed as many figures in them, 
then each must be further adorned with other small draperies, of colours suiting 
with it, in such manner as the large one was before. In a word, if we only consi- 
der, that a single colour ought to be intermixed Avith a changeable one, and a change- 
able colour with a single one, we shall perceive what order this affair requires, in 
order to look decorous, and please the eye. 

But, for further explanation, I shall give two examples of it. The first is, a 
company of five or six aged people, either without or within doors : now if these 
figures must be all drest, it requires no art, nor is it a sign of knowledge, to give 
each a single-coloured and equally large drapery, although we might find as many 
different colours, in order to join them agreeably; and this, for two reasons ; first, 
because that cannot happen in the life without premeditation. And secondly, be- 
cause the figures may not seem to be emblematic ; for though to the twelve apostles are 
appropriated their particular colours, yet we must not infer from thence, that, if 
they were all assembled together, we ought to give them a single colour from top to 
toe ; because, though we break the colours, they yet remain the same ; as blue, with 
green reflection", remains blue; yellow, with purple, remains yellow; and so of 

Of Colouring. 145 

others. Our second example is, a wanton meeting- of young men and girls, modish 1 3 
dressed according io their years ; these are skipping about, and playing in a field 
or room : now it would not be at all proper to join all their dresses of broken co- 
lours together, though they were coupled io such order as they require; and for 
the former reason, namely, that it can never happen but through premeditation and 
necessity : and, though it would appear elegant and phasing, yel not at all artful 
without an intermixture of some single-coloured draperies*. Nevertheless, we find 
many do it ; either because they take no delight in changeable draperies, or else 
because they cannot paint them, and therefore make shift with broken colours. 
Again, there are others who have no value for single colours, and therefore, on all 
occasions, introduce changeable or broken ones. We have also met with a third 
sort, who do not know how to make a difference between a changeable stuff and a 
broken colour ; though it is certain, that a reflecting or changeable drapery is an 
intermixture of two or more colours, and a broken-coloured drapery but of two ; 
as violet, with red and blue; green, with yellow and blue, &c. whence they are 
called broken or mixed colours. 

In the first chapter, treating of this management, we have spoken of reflecting or 
changeable draperies ; and as we are now again embarked in the same subject, it 
will not be amiss to explain the matter further. 

Many fancy, they make a good reflecting drapery, when it is well folded, and 
different in colour in the main lights, greatest shades and reflections; even Raphael 
and other great masters have been mistaken in so doing ; whereas a good change- 
able drapery ought to draw its reflections from the colour of which the main light con- 
sists ; the shade likewise proceeds from the ruling colour, yet has some tincture of 
the changeableness : and, although the drapery be changeable, yet it has a constant 
ground-colour of the main woof of the silk: thus it is a usual expression — A green 
and i/ellotv changeable : this then is the true quality of a reflecting silk, that all 
that is sceufronting on the relief keeps its main colour, but the sides of the folds going 
off cause the changeableness ; which we may easily perceive on laying a changeable 
stuff smooth on a table or floor ; for, viewing it perpendicularly from above, it will 
then appear red or yellow; but if seen parallel along the stuff, often appear blue : 
when it follows, as we affirm, that only the folds which go off become changeable, 
and alter in colour ; when the others, in the main light and shade keep their own 
colours : again, what in one stuff changes red will iu another appear green or yellow, 
according to the woof or warp. 

By reason of such accidents we are obliged to have pieces of particular stuffs, 
in order to shew the difference ; which cannot be learnt by heart, because of the 
nicety of the matter. 

vol. 1. v 

146 Of Colouring. 

We have said, in the foregoing chapter, that in a composition of many figures 
we ought to observe the sexes, ages, and conditions of people, and that each must 
have his proper stuff; the golden suits deities, and those who are deified ; purple 
becomes princes ; thus each, down to the slave : now, to those of weak memories 
I shall shew a good method for their becoming masters of this point in a short time. 

Set down in your pocket-book the following heads or titles : old men and ma- 
trons ; married men and women ; young men and maidens ; boys, girls, and young 
children: place these titles under one another, and write against them the pro- 
per dress, stuff, and colour, of each sex and condition : these notes you must often 
consult, and especially when you are about a composition of few or many figures. 

You may also make a columnar the colours of draperies; setting them down un- 
der one another: as white, yellow, blue, green, red, &c. and against them write 
their linings and ornaments, as I have before-mentioned. 

It will not be improper here to observe some particulars on different occasions, 
in a picture of many or few figures, with respect to colours ; not as if they were 
unknown or not observed by ingenious ai'tists, but because they are oftentimes neg- 
lected and slighted, either through carelessness, prepossession, or an opinion that 
they need not be so strictly confined ; or else, because beautiful colours are most 
pleasing to people, and therefore they must especially satisfy the eye ; without re- 
flecting, that they thereby injure the art and their own reputations : such painters 
are like great talkers, who say little to the purpose. 

Truly, the colours have great efficacy, when w r ell arranged and suited ; but they 
raise an aversion when unskilfully and confusedly disposed. 

An ingenious person will undoubtedly agree with me, that there are particular 
characters which distinguish one man from another; a prince from an officer; an 
officer from a vulgar person ; a rich man from a poor one ; by what means then 
is this difference perceived ? is it not by his authoritative countenance, grandeur, 
and stately carriage, and by his garb longer and of more costly stuff and beauty 
than die others ? if so, it will be easy to apprehend, that, though such a person 
were not endowed with all the aforesaid qualities, but with the contrary, he ought 
nevertheless to be made known by something or other ; as we have shewed in 
treating of composition. Wherefore is it needless to say any thing further in this 
matter, to bring us to the present point concerning the colours; namely, to shew 
on what occasions they ought to be used pure, and on what broken; for which pur- 
pose I shall exhibit three principal occurrences, as examples, whence we may deduce 
and order all others. 

The first may be a council, or a triumph, or such like; wherein all the dresses 
ought to appear entirely of the most magnificent, rich, and beautiful stuffs. 

Of Colouring. 147 

In the second, consisting of Bacchanals, covntry-mcrry-makings, and herdsmen?* 
sports, the colours ought to be half beautiful and half broken, each agreeable to the 
condition of the parties. And 

In the third, being public sights, viz. pleadings, mountebanks, jugglers, merry- 
itndrcu-s, and such like, made up of common and mean people, coarse stuffs and 
dirty colours ought to be most visible. 

Now here it still is to be remarked, that in the one sort of colours as well as the 
other, the most beautiful excels ; and as those three occurrences are not common, 
I must say, that among the meanest as well as the best, there are some which have 
the preference ; among the beautiful there are some more beautiful ; and among the 
mean, meaner ones. Thus much as to colours, in order to know a good master. 

But before we finish this chapter, let us observe, in what parts the coloured stuffs 
appear most beautiful; since stuffs are very different in this respect, and have their 
divers proper beauties. 

We say then, that blade stuffs are most beautiful in their strongest shades; white, 
yellow, and red in their main and greatest light ; and blue, green, and purple in the 
half tints. But all stuffs, not having a gloss, ought to be much more beautiful in 
their lights than their shades ; because light gives life, and makes the quality of the 
colours appear, when contrarily shades obscure and extinguish their beauty ; conse- 
quently all objects will shew their natural colours better, when their surfaces are less 
smooth and even ; as we see in cloths, linen, leaves, and herbs, which are rough or 
hairy ; in which no gloss or shining can appear, because they cannot receive the re- 
flections of neighboui'ing objects, but shew only their true and natural colour unmix- 
ed nor tinged with that of any other object, except the redness of the sun, when, by 
his setting, he makes the clouds and horizon partake of his colour.* 



JLight against light, and shade against shade, naturally unite. Against a light 
ground suit well dark figures, and against a dark ground light ones, in order that. 

* The information contained in this paragraph is an invaluable treasure for the 
painter, and cannot be too closely studied. E. 


Of Colouring. 149 

which the foremost is dark, and the other, half behind the former, light ; yet both of 
less strength than the foremost group. The last four, standing close against the 
ground, differ still much from the other, us being here and there intermixed with 
more light: one having a white stomacher; another a white cloth on her head : 
this having dowers ; that with light hair; another with a white pot, light drapery, 
nudity, &c which littlenesses, notwithstanding, have not so much force as to en- 
lighten the whole group. 

The doctrine of harmony teaches, that, we must always place darkness against 
light, and the contrary; but this is only a medium, shewing, agreeably to that 
position, how and in what maimer light and darkness may appear either close to- 
gether or distant, like the aforesaid festoons ; but it must not be considered other- 
wise than os a part of a picture. If we would have a perfect performance, we can 
order, at pleasure, such dark figures as those against light grounds, and the con- 
trary ; for instance, would you have on the right side of the piece a dark bush, in 
the middle a visto, and on the other side houses or stone-work, neither light nor 
dark ; you may place against the bush light figures or other objects, and in the 
middle, against the distance, dark ones ; and against the houses, others again which 
suit best; execute each correctly, and in particular, according to the said examples, 
and then nothing will be wanting that concerns the tints : the colour joined to it 
makes the work complete. 

I think I have fully explained this point of darkness against light, and the con- 
trary ; yet several things serving my purpose still occurring to me, which were for- 
got in the first chapter, I judge them proper to be mentioned here. I say then, that 
all light colours, even were they broke, appear well against a dark ground, but not 
with such force as the strong ones ; as we have formerly said, that warm colours 
appear best on a faint ground, and the contrary, whether they be light or dark. 
It is also a constant rule, that the strong colours, as light red and light yellow, do 
not suit on a light or white ground, more than beautiful blue on a dark one, though 
reckoned a capital colour. 

But let us return to our example ; we have hitherto only spoken of the tints, or 
light and darkness, it will now be necessary to shew also the colours of the dresses, 
according to their order, place, and power. 
So. 1. is sea-green. 

2. — Yellowish grey. 

3. — Violet. 

4. — Somewhat less beautiful green than No. 1. 

5. — Purple. 

G. — Dark violet, not beautiful ; but the girdle beautiful light yellow. 

\~>H} Of Colouring. 

No. 7. is Brown oker, and violet reflection. 

8. — Greenish blue. 

9. — Red orpiment. 
10. — Violet. 

11. — Umber, with little red. 

Observe now, from behind forwards, whether these figures, as they advance, 
do not become gradually stronger, by the intermixture of strong colours. The off- 
group has none ; that in the middle has one ; and the foremost, two ; of which one 
is very strong. 

If it be asked, why I place here the strong one, namely, red orpiment, as having 
no force against a light ground ; I say, it must be observed as the foremost figure, 
being encompassed with two dark ones. 

Let it also not be thought, because I thus exhibit the colour of each figure, 
that they ought therefore to be of the same colour from top to toe. Consult the 
sketch, and remember their draperies (one large, another small, of broken and 
faint colours) with which they are intermixed, and suit the ground ; as we have 
already intimated, that (in order to form great masses of capital colours, viz. yel- 
low, red, or blue, and they to predominate in an ordonnance) we may enlarge or 
break such a strong part with mixtures of the same ; as red orpiment, with brown 
oker, umber, or such like, which nevertheless remains yellow. After such a manner 
we may manage all the colours, to wit, beautiful green, with other green; red, with 
purple ; violet with blue or grey ; yellowish, white with grey, &c. In a word, if but 
one of the two be less beautiful. 



J. hey, who are conversant with books, are sensible that few authors have written 
of the harmony of colours ; and what they have done is so obscure and unintel- 
ligible, that I shall endeavour to make the point clear. 

It must be granted, that in every part of the art nature is our pattern, since she 
disposes herself in the most perfect manner. If we at any time discover something 
fine and pleasing in her, (which we often do) and yet know not the reason why it 
has such elegance and decorum, we ought to consult the rules of disposition and 
harmony, and examine with which of them the objects agree ; by which means we 
shall soort apprehend what decorum is, and on what reason founded 


/f. cte X ,u/Y ^ e "* r 

I. farnrifAa/n Jtzujc 

Of Colouring. 


Harmony proceeds from placing faint colours against strong ones, and the con- 
trary ; wherein such an union appears, that the one seems naturally to flow from 
the other, as in this instance. Let us suppose a picture to he divided into three 
grounds, or distances ; place the principal ugures in the middle on the fore-ground, 
and let some of them he strongly coloured, and the whole group as strongly drawn 
off hy a shady hollow rock coming hehind them ; place to the right, on the second 
ground, some figures beautifully coloured, yet a tint darker than those on the fore- 
ground ; and behind them, an airy, greyish-green bush; and further on, a light 
distance, filled here and there with small trees : let this bush be a tint darker than 
the second ground-figures ; on the left side of which gro.und place other figures, as 
of girfc and young children, in faint-coloured draperies, which, though coming 
against light buildings and the blue sky of the offscape, will notwithstanding appear 
beautiful and harmonious : now, in such a disposition, we are enabled to perceive 
fiow each of the three parts keeps its distance by the nature of the ground behind it. 
The foremost, as the strongest, and consisting mostly of light, approaches with 
force against the greatest shade ; and those on each side, though almost as light, yet 
are limited by their back grounds, which differ but one tint from them ; whereby 
they appear neither further nor nearer than they really are; from all which pre- 
mises we may plainly perceive, that, granting those three parts, or groups, had a 
like strength and colour, yet they may, by means of their back grounds, be brought 
down in such a manner, that, at pleasure, only one of them shall predominate, and 
the other two retire. Would you have the foremost figures dark, reverse your 
former conduct, and your purpose is answered. Thus you may easily join grounds 
and objects in order to produce harmony ; and by harmony, one of the great per- 
fections of a painting. 

But the more clearly to evince the force of colours against proper grounds, with 
respect to distance, 1 shall explain the matter in a second example, sec plate XXIT. 
F represent the boat, as the nearest object, splendidly gilt, and strongly glittering 
against the shade of the trees, and rock ; to the foremost flying figure, on the same 
distance as the boat, I give a light red drapery against the shadiness of the said 
rock, in force equal to that of the boat; the second flying figure, somewhat further 
in, has a green drapery, also light against the rock, where, being a broken colour, 
it becomes fainter; and the third, which is further in shade, and has a dark blue 
drapery, is flung off, and keeps its place at the furthest part of the hollow of the 
rock, which, with the yellowish blue sky next it, is lightish : the standing figure, in 
the stern, or off-part of the boat, is more strongly set oft' by a dark and warm yel- 
low drapery, against the aforesaid hollow, than the blue garment of the hindermost 
flying figure, and less than the boat's head and timbers which have the greatest 

152 Of Colouring. 

force, as being the greatest part doubled by the reflection Pn the water. On the 
river side, against the trees, are seen other figures, (partly naked and in faint 
coloured draperies, viz. apple-blossom, light changeable and white, intermixed here 
and there with yellow) and their reflections, and that of the green of the trees in 
the water. Now those figures, though faint and light, are, in their diminution of 
force, in the same degree with the middle flying figure, as having the same distance, 
and being of the same nature, and composed of broken colours ; so also the red of 
the foremost flying figure agrees with the yellow of the boat, both being strong 
colours. The rowers are in dark blue. 

Though this example sufficiently enables us to manage any picture whatsoever. 
yet I mean not that there must be always forwards a yellow object ; behind it a 
blue one; and in the middle a green, purple, or violet; for you may choose ichat 
colour you please; as, instead of this gilt boat, a red one; and give the fore flying 
figure, instead of a red, a yellow drapery, assigning to each a proper back ground : 
although the yellow of the boat, and the red garment of the figure, are strong colours, 
yet they are distinct in nature ; for as the yellow is in itself lighter than the red, so 
the red requires a darker colour than the yellow, in order to be flung off. Again, if 
instead of the figures by the river-side, which are clothed in apple-blossom, blue, &c. 
we would use other colours, as green or red, we may do so, provided, as before, 
we give them such a proper back ground as- will fling them off, with respect to 
their distance ; for it must be remarked, that, although they are distant, yet there 
is no necessity for giving them faint or broken colours. It is a maxim with ?ne, 
that any colour, how strong soever, may be moderated and restrained according to 
its distance; the colours in this example are disposed according to their ranks, 
(the strong ones forward, and the weaker, in degrees of distance, according to 
their natures) only to shew the method of placing them : in a word, Whether they 
are to approach, because of their natural strength, or to retire by reason of their natural 

But it is scarce possible, that in any subject all the colours should, according to 
their natures, happen to fall so advantageously, and therefore we may, on any 
occasion, alter them ; for instance, if, instead of the gilt boat, we were to introduce 
a piece of white marble, adorned with mouldings and bass-reliefs, and strongly 
lighted; the visto behind, turned into a close ground, and the trees behind the 
stone-work, instead of greyish, more sensible, warm, and approaching; this stone, 
I say, would have the same effect as the boat, and come forward with force ; though 
white, we all know, is not so strong a colour as yellow; for herein it will happen, 
as in a camp, where, in the general's absence, the lieutenant-general commands ; and 
in a company, the lieutenant for the captain, and the ensign for him ; even the 

Of Colouring. 1<53 

*erjeant is not without his power; therefore, when strong-natured colours are not 
iu a picture, the weaker supply their places, in a greater or less degree, as the matter 
requires; wherein lies the crisis of the management. Let me add to this instance 
of (he white stone-work, that it must be the strongest and most catching object in 
the whole picture, and that no strong objects must come near it to lessen its force, 
or to kill it, unless they be weakened, and brought down either by mistiness, or by 
meaus of their back-grounds; whereby they may then have no more force than a 
broken colour. 


of the b1spostion of irregular objects, and light against 
darkness; and the contrary. 


he placing and ordering of objects is of great moment ; for if, after we have 
chosen them all most beautiful, we dispose them carelessly, they will abate of 
their lustre: again, a good disposition will make an object, though uneleganl; 
in itself, look agreeable. To give some examples of it, I shall begin with 
Plate XXIII. 

On the fore-ground, on the right side, is lying an overset vessel against a large 
•tone, and both of them strong and warm in the light, against the darkness of some 
high trees which are on the second ground. On the third ground, lower, and by the 
water side, rises a columned building, which is light again. In the middle of the 
piece, the horizon appears very low, with some hills ; and on the fore-ground are 
three figures, making the greatest group, and mostly in warm and dark-coloured 
draperies, against the faintness and light of the offscape. On the second ground is 
a young man, who, with the house, at the door of which he stands, is below in the 
shade, occasioned by the ground-shade of the trees opposite to it; this house is of 
free-stone, and therefore light against the blue sky. The fore-ground has no ver- 
dure, and is all light, chiefly about the figures. 

This sketch shews us the irregularity of objects in a composition, and how we 
ought to dispose them according to art; some high, others low ; together with their 
force, in order to create a diversified decorum. By objects, I mean both the move- 
able and immoveable, viz. men, cattle, birds, trees, hills, buildings, &c. as well 
horizontal, as falling back behind each other. 

As to force, it coir^U in light against dafckness, and the contrary ; for (except by 

VOL. I. X 

1 34 Of Colouring. 

the diversity of colour) there is no other way than this, to set off objects agaiust one 

We have said, that the three fore-grouud figures are strongly coloured, and come 
against the faint distance ; whereby I shew, that in one piece there ought not to be 
two lights on the same ground, although they are both strongly set off, but that one 
part must consist of strong light, and the other of darkness. It is also easy to con- 
ceive, that the three figures, because they come against the light offscape and 
not into shade, must needs require dark colours: contrarily, the pot and stone are 
set off against the dark trees, by a general rule, that when there are some light 
objects on one side of the composition, those on the other should be dark. 

Let us now view a second example in Plate XXIV. as being an observation de- 
pending on the former, seeing neither can subsist without the other. This tends to 
illustrate the management of lights, both above, on each side, and behind one another ; 
and that we ought always to order after such a manner, when the former example 
shews us the irregularity of objects in their high and low disposition. 

The forward sitting figures are, with the first ground, dark, as being shaded by a 
driving cloud; so aI*o is the walking figure down to its middle. The building on 
the second ground fronts the light, together with the two standing figures, which 
are set off by the dark side of the house. The three inmost figures are in the shade 
of the same building, against the sky, which is their ground. The column, also, on 
the second ground, is almost to the top in shade against the hindmost trees, which 
run to the point of sight. The man is half again in the light against the dark 
column ; and his under parts, (which, with the first ground, are dark,) are set off 
against the second ground, which is light. 

But it is not sufficient to place here or there a ground-shade ; we must also shew 
the occasion of it, that it may not be asked, what caused it? for all shades are not 
alike; some are more dark, others more clear; moreover, they differ also sometimes 
a. colour; wherefore it will not be amiss to say something of it here, though we shall 
treat of it more at large in its place. 

The ground shade of trees often appears less or more green, according to their 
transparency or closeness. The ground-shade caused by driving clouds is faint. 
«p.d has no other colour than that of the air between. The ground shade of a refl, 
«reen, or blue stretched curtain is also of the same colour. Those of a house or 
other heavy piece of stone-work are grey and dark, &c. But to return to our 

It is plain, that what is demonstrated in these two examples, concerning light and 
darkness above, on each side, and behind one another, is the same when reversed ; 
pamely, if that which is now dark were light, and the light dark. It is also i:i< 

Of Colouring. 155 

able, that if one of the lights were taken away, the composition and agreeable har- 
mony would he spoiled at once ; even so much, as not to he brought right again with- 
out a general alteration ; for instance, suppose the walking person were dark above, 
how could he be set off by the column? Since we have before said, that darkness 
against darkness is improper; and were the column to be light, how should we ma- 
nage the sky? and if the sky were dark behind the column, that would be as bad 
again ; for the whole fore-ground and all upon it are dark ; and the second ground is 
light again ; wherefore every thing would be in disorder and indecorum : from these 
premises we may plainly perceive, that this is a constant method for management ; 
and, when a good disposition of the colours, according to their qualities, is joined to 
it (for we know, that objects have various colours, of which we can chuse the most 
proper) the decorum will still be the greater, and the eye more pleased. Trees, 
though they appear always green, are yet diversified according to the season, aud 
their natures: some are sea-green, others deep green, this russet, that grey-green, 
these again light green ; others dark green: grounds likewise differ, as hilly, sandy, 
clayish, and muddy : stones do the same: all which, we have fully shewed in the first 
chapter of this book. As for men, none excepted, what colours have they not? In 
fine, he who well understands the management of the colours, and the suiting them, 
will never he at a loss. 

But let him especially observe, that in any picture, whether of history, landscape, 
or any other branch, one side must be contrary to the other, not only in light and 
shade, but also in height and depth. 

The designs of these two examples are not much unlike that in the foregoing 
chapter ; yet here is greater variety ; for the former was, of the force of objects, 
either dark or light, against contrary grounds ; whereas these, though grounded on 
the same observation, shew us how they are to be ordered above one another, when it. 
so falls out: for instance, we see a group of figures on the fore ground against an- 
other on the second ground, someivhul higher; and that against another still higher; 
and so on, to the ceiling or sky : we have shewed, in Chap. IV. how we ought to set 
off objects behind one another, and to unite them with the ground ; but these exam- 
ples teach, first, how light and dark objects above one another ought to be managed 
so as to serve each other, and that each may keep its distance. Secondly, how, for 
want of shade, we must make shift with the assistance of colours. Lastly, how irre- 
gular objects ought to be placed against each other; which is the soul and life of a 
composition, especially where there are many people. But it is not confined to hu- 
man figures; for it respects all sorts of objects, whether grounds, hills, baUustrades, 
battlements, windows, roofs, clouds, and sky ; in line, every thing we can see ris« j be- 
hind any thing else, whereon people can appear. Speaking of clouds, it must be oh- 

x 2 

156 Of Colouring, 

served, that we may represent figures flying in the air and sitting on clouds, in the 
same manner as on the earth ; a matter of principal concern on such an occasion, 
where the major part of the objects consists of height, and many are at a loss in the 
different lights, colours, and tints. Wherefore, docible artists! regard this as an in- 
fallible rule, and consider every thing which I have laid down in the aforesaid ex- 
amples, to prevent yo ir falling into the mistakes w hich are herein usually com- 

I shall now subjoin a third sketch, plate XXV. concerning the crossing and going 
off of objects, as a sequel of the two preceding. 

See in this example a boat going off against a cross height, or earthern wall, where- 
on divers people were leaning by one another; who, with the trees rising behind, 
break the regularity of the wall : the approaching figures appear again against the 
distance, which runs across. 

The boat is in a strong light against the shady wall, which ends in the middle of 
the piece ; where the foremost approaching figures are set oft' with light both against 
it and the hindward dark figures, which have their effect again against the light of 
the buildings in the offscape. The sky on the right side of the piece abounds with 
heavy hanging clouds ; and on the other side are none, or very small ones 

Here we perceive, first, a great motion in the disposition of the objects ; which 
cross each other up to the horizon on one side : and, on the other, the contrary, which 
causes an agreeable variety ; especially as there are some objects going oft* which 
shew the point of sight : the second observation is, the harmony of light and shade, 
as in the former examples. 

This example then shews, what methods we may take, in order to produce such 
effects ; and it is for that reason, that this point is exhibited severally, and in different 
manners, which we may make use of as occasion offers, as much or as little as we 
think proper ; though never too much, since variety tires no one, but is always pleas- 
ing ; as here a visto, there a grove, houses, 6fc. here a winding road ; there again a 
hiding part of the distance ; here a level ground ; there a river beset with trees, 
partly running towards the point of sight, and then bending either to the right or left 
across the piece round a rock, and at last to disappear. Variety feeds a continually 
delightful de^ ire ; but we must know, that it principally respects pictures in the open 
air or landscape?. 

Flate XXV 

o i& J(' ?"''/*'<' in*/. 

J~. 6z*-nrtfAas>i Ji///k>. 

Of Colouring. 157 



If we have not knowledge in composition, all that we endeavour at is extravagancy ; 
even should we bring out a good disposition, it would be owing to good fortune; 
when a well-ordered piece, though indifferently coloured, will always have a harmony. 
The truth of this I fiud clearly evinced in irregular objects, which give life and mo- 
tion to an ordonnance; as we have several times shewed in treating of composition, 
and also in the first and last examples of the foregoing chapter. 

This motion is happily brought out, if the contrasting objects be considerately 
joined ; for by this means they will meet each other so agreeably as perfectly to 
please the eye ; not as placed thus by nature, but as the result of an artful compo- 

By their regularity of objects I understand their forms ; as when one is high, an- 
other is oblong; this pointed, that square, round, oval, &c. But before I proceed 
further, shall shew the easy method I took in order to get the knowledge of irregu- 

First, I drew all sorts of figures in different actions, as sitting, standing, stooping, 
lying, walking, &c. and cut them out with scissors. Next, I made a sketch of my 
subject, and laid it down flat, and put my cut figures upon it, moving them about till 
I was satisfied where to place a sitting, standing, or lying one ; how many suited here ; 
how few (here; and thus, after much shifting, I brought forth a good arrangement; 
which I then designed fair, making such alteration in the actions of the figures as I 
thought proper, yet retaining their postures in general ; leaving large and standing 
ones where they ought to be, and the small ones lying or sitting in their places : and 
so forth. 

By this means I have found, that a landscape, with many and small figures, ought 
to consist of large by-works for setting them off, viz. large and close trees, heavy 
stone-work, broad grounds, &c. And wi thin-doors, in a palace or apartment, across 
there ought to be, behind small figures, large and flat walls, with few ornaments ; for 
were they to consist of many parts, all would seem alike large ; and were we to place 
by large figures some large, parts, all would appear small; or, to speak belter, equally 
large. A large object must make another small; an oblique one, another erect ; 
and a square one, others pointed or round ; for contraries must be brought together, 
that the one may shew the other. 

It is the same with light; if a large part consist either of light or shade, let-on* be 


Of Colouring. 

the ground for the other; for instance, if on the second ground, a large part be in 
shade, let the third have some sharp and glittering light; this will help the broad 
shades and wanton lights : but those Iwo choices require a different management ; 
the principal ought always to precede, and the other to be subservient to it : in land- 
scape the immoveable objects predominate, and the moveable ones serve only for ornament ; 
contrarily, in a composition the figures are first disposed, and then the by-works; for 
when we say, that an upright standing figure must be placed by a bending tree, and 
a crooked stem by a standing figure, we understand by the former the stem to be the 
•principal, and the figure the assistant, if in a landscape ; but in a history, the figure 
is principal: thus it is also in an apartment with architecture, statues, bass-reliefs^ and 
other ornaments. 

The irregularity of objects does therefore give a particular decorum and elegance; 
for what satisfaction would it be to the eye to see some beautiful grapes and melons 
lie each in a separate dish ? but if grapes, melons, or other round, oval, and large 
fruits were grouped together, they would add a lustre to each other. 

We know that a small house visibly magnifies a temple or palace, and that a long 
and low building makes a tower or mausoleum look high. 

Such contrarieties as these are many ; and, to name them all, would be as tedious 
as impossible, wherefore I shall content myself with naming some of the chief. 

Plate XXVI. The example, No. 1, with a high horizon, shews the ordering of 
objects according to perspective ; the steps A run up against a parapet ; the figure B 
sits on the ground, where the steps rise; and forward, where they sink, stands the 
figure C. The point of sight D is on the horizon. 

Xo. 2. shews the contrary of the former, when the horizon is low. 

No. 3. is the same as the foregoing, with a low horizon. 

Plate XXVJI. No. 4, shews that lying objects require standing figures. 

No. 5. Is the contrary; by lying figures ought to be introduced high standing ob- 
jects, viz. columns, trees, and the like. 

With a. pyramid ending in a point, or a high and narrow square stone smtstooping, 
st t ting, and lying figures ; also standing figures, but mostly in profile. 

Under, or with statues in niches or on pedestal agree no standing figures, unless one 
of the statues be sitting. 

With thin bushes or cut coppices suit best standing, leaning, and stooping figures ; 
but not any lying or sitting. 

Against an elegant stone, with bass-reliefs, ought to he figures with flat or broad' 
folded draperies. The contrary is also good. 

With a straight-roursed river, broken shores and banks. 

With lying cuttle, standing men; and the contrary. 


Z. tizrnsuAam Jfu/f> - 

7V.?<V XX VIE. 

</' rfe £?ire/je rm 

7. £zrnrtiAam jculp. 


£. <ai? Jjo£r~e/<t e uw 

J. 6u-rnl&a7n Jcu&> 

Of Colouring. lo9 

With horses, asses, and cows, agree hoys, &c 
With sheep, goats, and other small cattle, suit full-grown people. 
With Jlat musical instruments, suit round ones, viz. the hautboy, lute, and the like. 
With a trimbrel, a cymbal, or a triangular ringed iron, &c. 

But when any thing is introduced into a picture to create a contrast, the principal 
piece which we would break by the by-work must always predominate. 



Having already spoken largely about the management of the colours, which is one 
of the capital parts of painting, 1 have taken great pains in foundiug some rules there- 
upon, with a view, that when occasion required, I might give good reasons for so 
doing. Under my present misfortune* this comfort is left, that I now have nothing 
to hinder what I firmly purpose, and therefore can consider it with more vigour than 
ever ; I even imagine it in a degree equal to nature herself, since I know perfectly 
the strength and nature of colours and their effects. 

Consider then the following example, Plate XXVIII. whether it be of moment. 

The man A in a warm filleraot drapery is against the faint distance : the woman 
B in a light blue drapery against the trees behind her: or, a beautiful sky-colour 
blue, and B pale red : again, A dark beautiful red, and B rose-colour : or, A purple, 
and B white ; these are the principal and most suitable alterations, besides change- 
able stuffs. 

Some perhaps may ask, whether the blue drapery, which we place here against 
the distance, does not contradict what we have formerly said; namely, that blue is 
reckoned among the weak colours? and yet here we assert warmth against faintness, 
and the contrary : to which I answer negatively ; because we call warm colours 
those which are pure and unmixed, viz. beautiful sky-blue, beautiful yellow, and 
}>eautiful red ; whereas, when those colours are mixed with white, their warmth no 
longer subsists ; because their darkness gives the glow. We see, on the contrary, that 
light blue, light yellow, and light red, even white itself, serve for weak colours 
against the dark, as this example shews : 

The reason why A ought now to be of a single or capital colour, is because the 

* It will he recollected that the author zvas blind when he composed this tvork. E. 

lGO Of Colouring. 

distance being made up of so many tender and faint colours, shall have no coi::n.;> 
uication with it; which makes the one the better retire, and the other approach. 
B does the same contrarily. 

This small example is of such a nature, that any picture of what kind soever, a? 
well within doors as in the open air, taken from it must be good. 

If we introduce, instead of the distance, a building with bass-reliefs, figures, 
or other ornaments of a weaker colour, or else of marble, it will answer the 
same purpose ; and if, instead of the trees, we exhibit a curtain, grotto, rock, or other 
building of warm stone, it will be the same again, with respect to colour: but if 
A come against a flat ground, of one colour, whether grey or white, then that 
figure may be of different colours, or changeable stuff. Likewise if we place B 
against a hanging, or a party-coloured ground, that figure must needs be of a single 
colour or drapery; wherefore we are enabled to judge how far this observation 

Yet as this example shews only light and darkness, we shall subjoin another in 
Plate XXVIII. with a third or middle tint; which, with the former, will suffice 
for giving a right notion of composing all sorts of pictures, as well within doors 
as in the open air, as before said ; although the design were to consist of 2, 3, 4, 
or more groups; observing the grounds against uhich they come; whether faint, 
strong, distant, or near ; to the end those groups may, by the force of light or 
weak colours, obtain their due beauty; I speak not in reference to any one in par- 
ticular, but all in general. 

We find, that when dark colours are placed against a faint distance, they are 
visibly set off, and make the one appear distant and the other near; and the more, 
when we set some light and weak colours on the fore ground, whereby they still 
have a greater effect, as we may observe in figure A. 

From which premises it is plain that the same can be effected by the contrary 
method ; so that the argument of some, namely, that strong and w arm colours 
ought always to be placed forwards, in order to approach the more; and the weak 
ones to be in proportion to their distance, the fainter the further, is entirely over- 
thrown for want of considering that the stress lies mostly in the back ground. 

The example now before us is like the former, the fore ground excepted, which 
is added to it, the better to explain our meaning in arranging the colours to advan- 
tage ; by which method we can dispose our subjects with ease, and so as to pro- 
duce a beautiful harmony. See Plate XXVIII. aforesaid. 

I place on the left side on the fore ground in the glass, a sitting woman, with 
her right leg fronting the light, having a white under garment, and over it a red one. 
She rests her right hand on a dark greenish-blue vase. A little further behind 

Of Colouring. 1.6 1 

her stands a half col man of grey stone, whi to!1'; and whereon leans an 

.! J philosopher dressed in dark blue, having on his m ad a crown of green Leaves 

On the right side, on the fore ground, whi ly, and here and there inter- 

: lixed with russet, lies a large flat basket of a dark russet colour, and in it is a 
large Italian pumpkin, on a beautiful dark blue cloth spreading half out of the 
t, on the light ground, by ii stands a girl, dressed in rose-colour, holding her 
lap open ; behind her appears a heavy white terme ; and on the left side from 
her stands a woman dressed in light violet, who is putting a garland on the terme: 
the girl is in profile, and the woman fronting; the philosopher shews, to the wo- 
man before him, the terme, which she turns towards and looks at. The terme, 
girl, and woman are close together, making with the ground a great light ; against 
which the basket is strongly set off. 



Xhere is still one thing which many painters carelessly pass over, though very 
useful and elegant, if well and naturally observed : it relates to such objects as 
are dusty, as well in rooms as in a garden ; for though the former be sometimes 
swept, and the latter cleaned, yet pedestals, ballustrades, parapets, vases, and 
statues, always escape : galleries and public places for walking in are likewise 
seldom cleaned: it is, therefore, in my opinion, very improper in those, who with 
great care represent the pavements of the said places with stones of divers colours 
very distinctly jointed, one dark, another light, without spot of unclcanness ; which 
makes it very difficult to get a good decorum, or cause those pavements to look 
without offence to the eye; causing moreover an excessive stiffness, be the 
colours ever so well ordered ; whereas usually in a large apartment, daily walked 
in, we cannot, in the aforesaid distinct manner, perceive what the colours of the 
floor are, except towards the extremities and next to the walls; wherefore the 
middle, where is the most w ust appear dull, uniting, and almost of one 

tint. Some painters express the compartments of such doors so distinctly, that 
you would even imagine they were wet. I grant, imbed, that sometimes in the 
life it is so, by means of the dart ; yet i break and make them a little 

lighter they will then not stare so much, and yet be no less natural : as if an apart- 
ment were surrounded ble s irb; se, and the middle of the room were a 
giltcis • 3 which the floor may very well appi ar rtrong, because of its agree- 
ii nt with the marl 

For my part, I should rat! i i ,i a plain floor than a comparted one; but if we 

v©l. i. v 

162 Of Colouring. 

lie uuder a necessity to introduce the latter, the best method will be, to unite the 
colouring in such a manuer that the tints differ but little from each other. 

This observation does in an especial manner affect landscape ; since it is certain, 
that the parts which abound in trees, whether woods or sides of roads, are subject 
to rain and wind ; and by means of dust or sand, the greens, tombs, pyramids, vases, 
and all other objects in such places are so sullied and covered, that the true colours 
of the said objects are hardly perceptible : for instance, in such a place as Ave now 
speak of, stands a red tomb on a black plinth ; now, if we make this tomb or plinth 
too dark, or too strong, it will look as if it had been tvashed; whereas, on the con- 
trary, it ought by means of the dust of the branches and leaves which sometimes 
fall on it, to be covered over, that we shall scarce perceive, whether the tomb be 
red, or the plinth black. 

Although some may think this observation too trifling and far-fetched, it is never- 
theless highly necessary, in order to find, besides by other methods, the likelihood 
in a picture; whether it be, for breaking thereby, in some measure, and uniting ob- 
jects, which, through the nature of their colour, would have too great a force, or 
for any other cause ; yet nut without reason, that it may not appear too affected. 

But here, methinks, I hear some object, that if we thus observe in every thing 
this dust and sully, long gowns and trained clothes cannot be free from i: ; espe- 
cially those of women, which are commonly of beautiful and light colours, and 
must consequently be at the bottoms, as well as their white sandals, more or less 
dusty, to the no small laughter and wonder of the people: to which I answer, that 
i should more wonder to see a person come dry out of the water, than clean out 
m dust and dirt; for though we do not see it observed by others, who have always 
made the sandals beautiful and white, even those of a common soldier, as well as 
of a general ; and a trained gown the same ; yet I say, that this observation does 
not tend to countenance mistakes, but to make us mindful of the natur.e of things, 
atid to express them in our pictures with all likelihood, more or less as the matter 
requires, not superfluously, but in moderation ; a virtue which, taking place in 
other things, should not be neglected in this point. A judicious master will observe 
a medium, in order to prevent aversion, since tilings too beautiful are unnatural, and 
those which are too dirty disagreeable to every one. This management would also 
not be justifiable, could we not, as I have said, perceive the reason of it; as in poor 
people, countrymen, and such like, with old and tattered clothes, which wear not 
without soiling and gathering dust. 

But this observation is of no use to those, who, not apprehending the causes of 
things, will have every thing as beautiful as possible; whereas likelihood should 
appear in ail parts. Pmdenter agendo. 







I judge this point to be one of the most important in the art of painting ; for 
without a thorough knowledge of it it is impossible to make a good picture; where- 
fore I shall shew all, that by discourse I can bring forth, as the result of what I 
have learned by many observations and long experience, 

Of a common Light. 

Objects, in a common or open light, have no broad sharp lights, and their shades 
are uncertain : the second tint and shade keep their own colours much better in a 
clear air without clouds; because the objects, being lighted on all sides without 
vapour, appear sensible, and more relieved than in sun-shine. This light I think 
best for portraits, and such objects as we would have enlightened from without the 
picture; as an open gallery or such like place: and though the objects thus lighted 
have no great force, we nevertheless find, that the main touches both in light and 
shade are stronger than in other lights. 

This light gains elegance and advantage by low horizons, when it makes greater 

* The management of light and shadow, merely as a mailer of composition, has 
lately been more studied in this country I ban any other part of (he Art, and has 
probably been carried furl iter than by any foreign school. E. 

1G4. Of Lighh and Shades. 

shades; as under the leasing of trees, mouldings, and project ures of buildings., and 
such like. 

Of the Light in a cloudy Sky. 
We need not wonder why the objects in a cloudy air appear more distinct than 
in sun-shine or clear weather; because the air or vapours, being mostly exhaled, 
leave the objects below without mistiness, and thus afford a much sharper transpa- 
rency for viewing every thing, without the least obstruction;* for which reason, 
things in a cloudy air seem less to go off from us, and appear dark and near, and 
of a more beautiful colour; especially the green of grass and trees. 

Of a Sun-shiny Light. 

Objects enlightened by the sun are more or less misty, as the sun shines strong 
or weak ; for this reason, that the atoms or motes between us and the point of 
sight seem more dense, by the strength of the sun than in a common or clear light, 
and are more or less tinged ; by which means the shades of objects b( come faint 
at once, and go off more suddenly than in another light; wherefore we may easily 
conceive, that, though the shades are broader, and more sensibly limited, than in 
another light, yet they appear not so sharp as some masters have, by mistake, ex- 
pressed them; especially Berchem, in his objects less than the life; this, indeed, 
would be well enough in covered places, as galleries, palaces, apartments, where 
there is no air; whereby the objects then appear more perfect, plain, and less 

Suppose, for instance, you walk through some shady trees, it is certain, that, 
coming towards the end of them, you will see the objects in the open air plainer 
and better than in the field ; the prospective glass evidently proves this, were the 
<Iay ever so clear. Observe then in general, that (as I have said) the objects grow 
faint more suddenly and disappear in sun-shine; which herein principally differs 
from common light. 

Of the Light in Halls, Rooms, and other Apartments. 

For pieces to be hung against walls of apartments the common light is most 

proper, if the disposition of the light of the place will permit, as being the most 

moderate and agreeable when well and naturally expressed. This conduct, then, 

is principally to be observed in it, that the figures and other objects be lighted more 

* The author is perfectly correct as to the fact here referred to, though he is 
mistaken as to the cause. E. 

Of Lights and Shades. lfcj.5 

or less strong and broad, according to the nearness to, or distance from the light 
of the windows ; and, though standing on the same ground, they ought neverthe- 
less to be different in force of light and dullness of shades. So also t e ground- 
shades on Malls, grounds, and other objects, should be, some shorter, stronger, and 
more sensible than others. The figures close to the windows must, therefore, cer- 
tainly leceive their light from on high, and have shorter ground-shades than those 
which arc further from them. 

But as it may happen, that the objects distant from the aforesaid light may re- 
ceive light, from other windows, so their shades ought also to break more or less, 
and to become faint, because they are encompassed by a larger light, besides re- 
flections from the walls. The shades of such objects are also warmer than in the 
open air, where the blue of the sky and vapours very much weaken them, and 
make them faint. 

We must likewise observe in general, that in an apartment hung with red, yellow, 
blue, or green,, all the shades of the objects are thereby reflected, and partake of 
the same colour; but the touches and shades of the faintest objects will appear 
the stronger. 

A Compendium of the Lights. 

In cloudy weather the objects are less retiring, more warm, and more sensible. 

In clear tceather, without clouds, a little more retiring. 

In sun-shiny weather still more retiring, and less sensible. 

Infoggy weather (as at the latter end of the year, or in winter) the most retiring, 
and more suddenly disappearing. 

The grosser the air, the more body it has; and the more body, the more visibly 
lighted ; whereby the sight is shortened, and the objects appear more indistinct. 
Thus much as to objects in the open air. 

These four particular lights, naturally handled, are certain proofs of a skilful 
master; and it would, in my opinion, look very agreeable, to see such pieces hang 
by one another, embellished as follows : — 

In cloudy weather, the herdsmen, fearful of rain and storms, are packing up their 
baggage ; the sheep every where making .towards them, listless and hanging their 
heads; which they are driving in a hurry into the woods, looking continually at 
the sky : in line, the bustle is great, and every one in motion. 

In clear weather, the herdsmen walk hand in hand ; others sit here and there, 
by a fountain, in discourse ; a third group divert themselves with singing and skip- 
ing about, and some play on the hautboy, fife, reed, or straw-pipe, instruments 
usual among country people; and in the mean time their flocks are grazing in 

166 Of Lights and Shades. 

In sunshiny weather the shepherds and shepherdesses sit at ease under tjheir 
spread clothes ; some by a water fall washing themselves ; others sleeping in the 
shade of a fountain, or trees ; their flocks are grazing up and down in groups ; 
some chewing the cud for coolness, others drinking at a river, others lying in the 

In foggy weather the herdsmen are driving their flocks homewards ; walking 
with concern, and shrugging their shoulders, and poking out their heads, care- 
fully looking to see whether a sheep or goat have not been lost iu the fog, and 
closely guarding the flock on every side. The young women follow, with clothes 
or veils on their heads ; and some are stopping their noses with them, because of 
the fog. 



JL he. sky is a wide expansion, seeming lower or higher as it is more or less 
replete with vapours ; now the sky is certainly never without vapours, since, 
were there none, it would be every where blue,* as well on the horizo'i as over 
our heads: but we see it appears lighter next the horizon than vertically, because 
the vapours fog and diminish the beautiful blue there. It is also plain, that the 
nearer the air is to the earth, the more dense and gross it is; and, in proportion to 
its ascent, the more rarified and transparent. The vapours are likewise more or 
less sensible in proportion to their density or rarity. 

We must observe here, that when the sun rises in the east, it is then in that part 
lighter on the horizon than in three others ; and at noon it is lighter in the south, 
and so round, because this large heavenly body communicates its influence to every 
thing near and about it. 

I shall now demonstrate, by an example, the reason why the vapours, the further 
they are from us, become the lighter: take a thin gause eight or ten yards long, and 
strain it in the open air, on four poles; mark each yard with a cross-line, numbered 
1 , -2, .'>, to 10 ; then place yourself under No. 1, and looking along to the end of the 
straining, you will perceive the blue of the sky less in the second division ; and the 
further, still lesser; because the thin threads doubling before your eyes, thereby 

* The author is here mistaken. If ice had no vapour surrounding us, the sky 
"very a here would appear black. E, 

Of Lights and Shades. 167 

thicken the gause more and more, and abate its thinness or transparency ; insomuch 
that at last you perceive nothing but an entire white stuff'. 

Suppose now that the stars were up, and you were to make the same experiment, 
you would find thein to appear most distinct in the first division, and disappear in 
proportion as they go off; which is a plain proof, that though the air be ever so 
rare, forwards or near, yet it becomes grosser the further off—more body must re- 
ceive more light. 

It is for thi.s reason, that the stars are never seen very near the horizon ; and if we 
do perceive any thereabout, they are but small and weak. 

Between the air and water there is no difference ; the one seems to be an impres- 
siou of the other; to wit, both of them light towards the horizon, and the air over- 
head and water forwards both dark. 

As for the ground or plati, which receives its light from the heavens, I do not find 
it necessary to assign other reasons for proving, that the case of this is quite con- 
trary to that of the air; since perspective shews, that every thing enlightened, if it 
have but a solid body, darkens more and more the further it goes off from us : sup- 
pose, for instance, an open gallery, <J00 feet long, having an even floor; you will 
perceive the first foot to be the lightest, and so on to the further end, less and less 
light. The same may be observed in figures clothed in ichite, and how much the 
first will differ from the last. I speak only of what is in the light; for the case is 
quite different with what is dark, and in shade; as we may see when figures are 
dressed in black, that then they become lighter and lighter by the thickening of 
the vapours. 

The objects which appear in a level field, when the air is without clouds, and 
the sun, hidden either behind a mountain or tree, will receive light from all sides, 
and yet keep their relief by reason of their strong a)id dark touches. Their colours 
are not broken, but retain their natural beauty: and though the sun, as before said, 
be hidden by something, and cannot then shine on the objects, they will neverthe- 
less receive more or less light from the air on the side where the sun is hidden, 
without altering the colours. 

That the blue of the sky is no colour, we can plainly perceive by the objects 
in an open field, when the sun or light clouds shine not on them, which are not in 
the least tinctured by it ; as being nothing else than a vast remoteness or height, 
from whence it comes forth, and therefore not able to impart this colour to the ob- 
jects, as they do theirs to one another for want of body. 

Since we are treating of the virtues of the air, it will not be amiss to say something 
of its reflection ; a matter worthy of observation ; since in that point are often commit- 
ted great mistakes ; and to explain it we shall exhibit the three following examples : 

l6o Of Lights and Shades. 

N. B. The numbers signify the tints; as 1 is one tint, 2 is one tint darker, aad 
3 a tint darker than the preceding. 

The figure A, Plate XXIX. is a tint darker in shade than B ; for this reason, 
that the trunk of the tree C has rough superficies which can give no light; and 
the white house D contrarily can give a great light or reflection; now if the house 
were not there, but a level field instead of it, B would rather be lighter than 
darker; and if the trunk and bushes behind it were also taken away, those two 
figures would have a like shade: whereas we see now two figures on one line 
or ground, one darker and the other lighter, though the darkest shades in the latter 
keep their own force ; which, did they appear otherwise, would be against nature 
and the rules of art. 

The second example has the same observation. 

Now I am well assured from experience, that if we were to give to some (who 
had never seen this sketch, or known the reason of it) an outline of the following 
or such a design, disposed alike, and one figure as far from the trees as the other 
is near it, standing in a line parallel with the horizon, in order to shade them 
according to their notions, they would represent them both (dike in light and shade; 
though, by an infallible rule, he who stands furthest fr m the trees has mote light 
round about him than he who. is nearer ; and therefore it cannot possibly be other- 
wise than as we see here exhibited ; to wit, B one tint in shade, and 2 in the ground- 
shade; and A 2 tints in shade, and 3 in the ground-shade. Now behold the wo- 
man on the fore-ground, who, like B, has one tint in shade, by reason of the re- 
flection of the stone standing near her. The ground-shade upon that stone con- 
sists of three tints ; and if the stone, or any such hindrance were not there, the air 
would cause the same effect, though not so strongly. 

Some may possibly think, that the house is too far to cause such a reflection; 
and that then the figure A ought not to differ so much; but I say, that the trunk 
C, with the May-bushes behind, so interpose, that the figure A cannot receive any 
reflection from the house, and therefore it must naturally be one tint darker in shade 
than B, would you make a far-fetched opposition, and dress A in while; I say, 
then, that there would be no need either of the trees or houses ; when yet it is plain, 
teat the one as well as the other is thus ordered to serve for an example. 

The third example, Plate XXX. confirms the two former; in which we plainly 
sec the reasons why objects are weakened more or less in their shades, not only by 
(he reflections of other objects, but also by the Air on the left side ; ai:d the ground- 
shades the same, which are darkened more or less beyond the reach of the said air 
oi reflection: as it appears on the three columns; in which it is evident, that the 
ground shades of 1 and 3 are a tin! fainter than that of 2; the pillar 1 by the light 

/ /..'/,• \.\l\ 


P/ate XXX , 

• - /y £a£rWj£ tflf. 

T. farnrithasri 

Of Lights and Shade*. lt)9 

of 2 and the air, and 3 by the air alone. The pillar 2 is aboat half-way from the 
bottom darker in its reflection than above, and its ground-shade one tint darker 
than 1 and 3, by reason of its standing nearer to 3, and whereby pillar 2 comes to 
cast its ground-shade on 3, which ground-shade covers the light of 3 half-way ; 
whereby this last cannot reflect thus far against 2, nor in its ground-shade. These 
effects happen as well in sun-shine as common light, without the least alteration. 

We exhibit here another example in Plate XXX. aforesaid, which affords no 
less consideration than the foregoing ; and whereby I shew the force of light and 
the main-light touches upon objects, and how unlike they appear in two objects 
alike, according as the horizon is high or low. A and B are the instances, and C and 
I) the proofs of it, that it cannot be otherwise. The case is the same, whether the 
light be sun-shine or common ; or whether it be fronting or sideways. The horizon 
is, as we see, between both heads, and the point of sight in the middle, or somewhat 
more to the right side. The light proceeds also from the right. 

Now consider how the two heads, A and B, though having one and the same light, 
differ in the main-light touches ; A having those touches on the forehead, and all the 
projecting parts, as nose and chin, under lip, and so forth ; and B having them on the 
rise of the brows, corners of the eyes, beside the nose, and along the cheek, tip of the 
nose and chin, &c. which alteration is only caused by the point of sight, according to 
its position, either high or low . When the objects (be they of what kind soever, if 
but smooth and even, as marble, copper, or the life itself) stand under a high horizon, 
the aforesaid main-light touches go upwards, and on the contrary descend, the more 
the objects are elevated above the horizon, as we have said, and is here demonstrated ; 
now observe C D of the same stuff as the foremost heads, and lighted by the same 
light, where C has a strong heightening on the rising part, which descends more or 
less as it rises above the horizon. 

This example is of great moment, and produces uncommon things ; in which we 
should sometimes be at a loss, and which would not occur to us in many years : I 
speak in reference to those who are too confident of quick conceptions, and do not 
duly weigh things ; for it must be allowed, that, without the knowledge of perspective, 
it is impossible to trace truth from the secrets of nature, in order to bring it to pass in 
our works. It is true, we can imitate the life, a gold or silver pot, kettle, dish, or 
other shining piece of household stuff, as fine as the life ; but may be vastly mistaken 
in the uses of them in our pictures, if we do not regard the motions of the glittering!, 
which are as various as incredible ; and yet all those things may be easily appre- 
hended, if we understand, and sometimes practise, perspective. 

vol. j. 

170 Of Lights and Shades. 



The representing reflections in the water is certainly of great moment, and their 
agreeableiiess makes the/n worthy to be naturally expressed ; but as there are not 
assigned, or will be found, any certan rules for them, without the aid of perspective, 
so it is lost labour to seek any : for which reason, some landscape painters often pass 
over the reflections in the water, to avoid the trouble of perspective. 

Nevertheless the incomparable Poussm has not forgot to make use of them, and 
he has obtained great reputation thereby ; I speak of Nicholas, who was as famous 
for landscape as figures, and who never met with any difficulties which he did not 

Having earnestly applied to this point, I considered, whether there could not be 
found other shorter means to effect it, than by planning lines, &c. that so agreeable a 
part of art might not be neglected ; and after long trial I discovered the following 
method : 

Take an oblong board of what size you please, and place thereon some wax-figures 
as close to the edge as you think proper, or according to their distance from the 
water, which they ought to have in your picture. Bend these figures into such 
actions as your sketch requires, and place them, by meaus of little bits of wood or 
potter's earth, as high or low as you desire ; then take a trough (made for that pur- 
pose) of lead, wood, or tin, painted within-side with such a ground as you want, 
whether black, umber, or terrevert, and fill it with water, and set it against the board 
and figures, as high or low as your sketched ground directs. Next, fix your point 
of sight; and, after having found your distance, place yourself there, either standing 
or sitting, and thus draw the figures with their reflections ; slightly also marking the 
shades : then set your layman to each figure, and draw it very carefully ; fixing the 
layman each time in the place where each figure stood, so as to see its reflection like 
that in your sketch. 

Here especially take notice of the length and breadth of the reflection ; for it 
always shortens more than its object, because it is so much lo^er under the horizon. 
When you place the model or layman as much above the horizon as it reflects under 
it, and draw it thus correctly, in order to paint after it, you hold the drawing upside 
down : here you will possibly say, that the reflection ought to be reversed : which I 
do not disown; but then you can make an impression of your sketch on another 
paper,* and thereby perceive the good effect. 

* Zfy rubbing the back of it. E. 

F&Ue XXXI - 

■ j^.azrie/./t' rs?f 

V 6tr7irrt/> 

Of Light* and Shades. 1? 1 

Having proceeded thus far, and painted after your sketch, you may be assured 
every thing is right. 

But here let it be observed, thai the reflections musJ always be perpendicular with 
the objects above than, to it growing out of each other; as we may see in Plate 

This method relates not only to the placing of figures, but all other objects of what 
kind soever; as horses, dogs, pyramids, stones with bass-reliefs, vases, pot's »nd 
other things ; and whether they be forwards, backwards, or at the sides of your 

You may, instead of a water-trough, use a looking-glass; but it is not so natural 
as the water, which may be made to look deep or shallow, and as dark or light as 
you please, by placing a little mud, grass, or sand, in the bottom of the trough. 

As for the colouring experience teaches, that the more the water is enlightened by 
the sky, the more uncertain the reflections are ; and, when the sun shines directly on 
the water, the objects will appear much more uncertain, as well with respect to us, as 
those who view themselves therein ; for the reflections then appear only as descend 
ing rays, without any shape; as we sometimes see by a candle, the moon, or other 
thing, which gives only a reflection on the surface of the water, whether in sun-shine 
or by night ; because we cannot then perceive the transparency of the water. 

The reflections in the water, though it be quite dark and clear, are never so light 
at their objects without, but always a tint or a half darker. 

Now, to represent the reflections in running water, you must first paint it with light 
and shade, on a ground rubbed thinly over with a little tough oil ; then take a large 
soft pencil, and here and there cross-hatch it. But a better way, is, to take a long- 
haired fitch, and make the strokes as close as the veins of the water run, taking care 
not to strike out too much of the outline. But as glass is a diaphanous body, and 
therefore has no constancy or fixedness, nor can effect any thing, but by means of 
something else having more body, as by the earth, which is a firm body : (this we 
see when the glass is silvered or pitched) so with water the case is the same ; which 
will produce no effect, nor receive the form of any object, unless there be a Jirvt 
ground iojix its transparency ; as we may see by a piece of ice. 

Having said enough of the reflections which concern objects out of the water, it 
will be necessary to observe somewhat about objects standing in the water ; a point 
well worth our notice, on account of the uncommon occurrences which happen in 
it, though as little heeded as if they were on the land, and no water thereabouts. 

We must suppose the water to be like the air, and that the objects, between it and 
the air, 6een from top to bottom, appear the same as if they were upside down 
against the air ; there being no other difference between the lights of either, than 

2 z 

172 Of Lights and Shades. 

that water is a little fainter than the air ; as may be apprehended by a looking-glass, 
in which the objects, though they appear ever so plain, do not come up to life itself. 

These things being premised, it is easy to conceive, that objects standing in the 
water are enlightened as ivell from below as above. I speak not here of the reflec- 
tions of objects, but of the objects themselves, and their shades, as may be seen in 
Plate XXXI. aforesaid. The man A, who extends his right arm over the water, re- 
ceives strong reflections from below, of a violet colour, like that of the air above 
him, along his shaded side ; and his left arm, across his breast, receives a double re- 
flection; to wit, from the water, and from his body; whereby it is of a more warm 
colour than the other. The young man B, stooping over a stone, views himself in the 
water, in the shade of the tree : by him I shew that the reflection of the water is like 
that of the air, but a little fainter, as I said before. The face on the stone C exhibits 
the same, but more sensibly, being also lighted from below. 

Here we must further observe, that the further or higher objects are from the 
water the more reflection they receive ; as may be seen in the man D, who, with his 
breast, is close to the water, without any reflection ; because the light over him cannot 
shine on it, since he is stooping forward, and shades the water to the ground with 
his body. Thus far I have experimented ; and from whence other circumstances 
may be deduced by practice. 

In the mean time we may observe, how much those objects differ from those on 
the land ; of which latter we must note, that the more they rise from the ground, the 
less reflection the shades receive; because the light of the grounds being on the 
superfices, they maintain their own constant colours. 

Concerning the reflection in the water, besides the contraction and reflection, I 
have been long doubting about the irregularity between them and the objects them- 
selves ; since I perceived by the rules of optics, or practical perspective, that there was 
something more to be taken notice of. I apprehend, also, that as there is air and sun 
above and below, so those two lights must needs cause an uncommon effect in the ob- 
jects and their glitter or main heightenings. But yet I could not firmly conclude how 
or in what manner; and the rather, because (which I am much surprised at) I never 
heard that any person had certainly demonstrated it. At last, finding the greatest 
difficulty in explaining my conceptions, I did, to give a sketch of it, cause an inquiry 
tt/be made into the truth itself, as Plate XXXI. aforesaid shews ; wherein we plainly 
see how far things may sometimes go beyond our guesses. Those who try nice ex- 
periments must be rejoiced when they make greater discoveries than others. We 
say, he who seeks finals; but nothing is to be obtained without labour and prac- 
tice. Observe then, that the stress lies here in the main-light-toztches, as the aforesaid 

Of Lights and Shades. 173 

figures plainly shew; but they may be qualified according to occasion, and as you 
think fit, both in the objects and their reflections. 

We take then, for example, the objects standing on the water; being under the 
horizon equal to their height, and receiving their light from the right, they stand on 
each side of the point of sight, and have their proper lights and shades, according to 
perspective, as also the main-light-touches, or gloss on the relief. The same experiment 
may be made with all sorts of objects ; in all which, we may perceive, how much 
reflections in the water as well as the contractions will differ from the objects them- 

This is an uncommon observation ; but study will make it familiar. 



At will not be improper to make some observations about the ground-shades of ob- 
jects, and the course of those shades, according to the different lights, proceeding from 
the side round to the fore part. 

As perspective determines exactly the length, breadth, and depth of things, so it is 
impossible to represent any thing duly and well without it: though, as I may say, we 
were to practise the art a hundred years, and the composition to consist of but two 
or three figures — I will not say of ten or more — it is no wonder that we so early- 
cause young artists to learn perspective before they take to composing ; it is even com- 
mendable if they understand it but indifferently, and shun those who not only reject 
its rules, but laugh at those who study them ; a conversation very prejudicial to young 
and unexperienced tyros. —But to return to our subject. 

We find a great advantage in using a side-light in our pictures, with respect to the 
ground-shades; because thoses hades, whether forwards or distant, always run pa- 
rallel with the horizon, without any fore-shortening; which we may easily find with- 
out perspective ; as may be seen in Plate XXXII. fig. 1. because they may be con- 
veniently measured with a pair of compasses, or else guessed at. 

We may then well perceive, how much easier this is, than where the light is more 
fronting, and the ground-shades consequently run somewhat oblique and shorten, 
and therefore not measurable by the compasses ; much less to be guessed at, through 
their great variety and dissimularity. ]f the objects change their places, the ground- 
shades also alter; one runs also parallel; another, more oblique and shorter; and 
others still more, in proportion as they go off from the side whence the light come? ; 

i/4 Of Lights and Shades. 

as in fig. 3, whereby is shewed a method for finding such ground-shades, without 
trouble or loss of time, in what manner soever the light fall. 

As to the front-light, as in fig. 2, I must further premise, that as in such case the 
ground-shades go oft' backwards, so we need nothing but the point of sight, in order 
to find them; and their fore-shortenings can be only found by means of the gradation- 
line, which, though a small trouble, may be sooner made than read. My method is 
this : — 

First, I sketch No. 3. for my subject, fixing my horizon and point of sight at plea" 
sure. Then I begin with the foremost figure A, and shade it, and strike its ground- 
shade at random, according as I suppose the light to be a little fronting. Next I set 
my line B, whereon are marked the gradation feet on the right side. Further, 
I draw a parallel line C from the foot of fig. A to the aforesaid line, which shews its 
distance. Now, in order to exhibit the course of its shade, I lay ray ruler to the 
foot of fig. A, tracing its ground-shade up to the horizon, where I make a little star 
D ; from which star I fetch all my other ground-shades, both fore and off-ones, from 
one side to the other, whether figures, stones, &c. Now, to find the lengths of all 
these ground-shades, I draw again, from the end of the ground-shade E a parallel- 
line F to the gradation-line ; then I count the degrading feet, supposing the figure 
seven feet high, and its ground-shade six feet long, going six feet into the piece, as 
marked on the gradation-line. Thus may all other objects be managed, by only 
counting their heights, in order to give the depths of their three ground-shades ac- 

It is now easy to judge, how difficult it would be to find the variation of shadow 
without such a line as aforesaid. 

This method has a further advantage, in assisting those who will finish all their 
figures after the life ; for, by the course of the said ground-shades, we can presently 
know where to place the model or layman with respect to the light of the piece ; as 
we have demonstrated in our drawing-book. 



JLO make this observation plain, I have thought proper to illustrate it by one or two 
examples ; because it is one of those principal beauties of a picture, whereby we 
every win re discover the master. 

It is not improper for weary huntsmen, or nymphs, to rest in shades, as in this 
example, Plate XXXIII. Here they sit forwards in the left corner of the piece, on 

r/^e xxxnr. 

O ,/.• Z.n/;-/lu 

7. uzrrvz//uim SCU&t. 

Of Lights and Shades. 175 

a green bank, against a wall quite over-run and shaded by the trees ; on the tops 
whereof, litre and (here, are seen some small strong lights. The standing figure re- 
ceives the strongest light almost down to the knees ; and the remaining part, uniting 
with the ground, shews its distance: the light of this figure has, however, not so 
much force as to give the wall, behind the sitting figures, any reflection ; partly be- 
cause those figures are between, and partly on account of the roughness of it ; as 
being full of breaks, holes, and projecting branches and leaves, which double the 
shade, and admit little or nothing of the reflecting rays of the figure. We see cou- 
trarily, that the figures sitting over against the light object or figure, receive, without 
hiudrance, strong reflection ; the one from before, the other somewhat sideways, ac- 
cording to their sitting, either behind, forwards, or in the middle. 

It is of sjreat moment to shew plainly the true cause of the said reflections, as to 
distance, colour, and./0/Tc. Of the colour I shall say this (for the distance I have al- 
ready shewed) that, were the said light figure dressed in beautiful light red, and 
strongly lighted by the sun, and the four sitting ones dressed in purple, yellow, blue, 
and White, they would certainly be adulterated by the red reflection, and partly lose 
their own colours, in order to take that of the other, and be mixed with it : as for in- 
stance, the purple will hecome red; the blue, violet; the yellow, russet, or fillemot; 
and the white, apple-blossom, or flesh-colour: yet some more than others, according 
as they receive faint or strong reflections, distant or near : moreover the naked will 
become more warm, not all over, but in the parts which are tinged by it: for the air 
round about is seen less or more, whether in the shade, or between it and the part 
which receives the reflection. 

The second example in Plate XXXIII. shews the breaking of the shades, accord- 
ing to the place, as well in colour as force. 

The Stone-wall is of a russet and warm colour ; the standing figures dressed in 
white or lii;lit colours, are, with the stones and ground about them, lightened by a 
I i .inon light or sun-shine. 

These olijects shew us, that though the light, which comes upon them, he pure 
and unmixed, their shades are nevertheless quite adulterated ; because they are 
hidden from the air, and surrounded with a warm ground, and receiving no pth.ef 
light than from the reflections of the said ground, the colour whereof the sh 
take : wese • the contrary in the undermost flying figure, to wit, that the more the 
objects approach the air, the cleaner they become, and keep their own colour; as 
appears in the uppermost figure, which is half in the air, and not the least alt reo" 
in its shade ; save that it hecomes a little more purplish according to its distance; 
which may be visibly seen in its under parts, and in the lowest flying figure; which 
is still in the dark, and cannot be touched by the blue of the air, being of a quite 

176' Of Light t and Shades. 

different colour from the uppermost ; that is, more warm, as are also the %u res 
which stand below. 

Formerly, few masters understood reflections, especially among the Italians.* 
Among the French we find some made use of them. However, I freely own, that 
such of the Italians (were there but one) who observed them, understood them in 
perfection ; and the French but indifferently ; though Voutet gained his reputation 
by them, having therein done more than all the French and Italians: which makes 
me believe that the refections have not been long in practice ; since we yet find many 
old pieces wherein they are not at all observed. I cannot but think, that at that time 
they were unknown to them. But, what is still worse, some, as Lastman, Roten- 
hamar, &c. did not know, when an object was in shade, on which side it ought to 
be light or dark ; wherefore they shaded it like others which were in the light, more 
or less, as if it were glazed so much darker: for instance, in a piece lighted from 
the right side, you will sometimes see a figure iu the shade of a stone or other ob- 
ject; now the shade of this figure, instead of being on the right side, occasioned 
by the stone, they made on the left, like all the rest : a true sign that they knew 
nothing of refections. Raphael himself was not expert in it ; for at that time 
they knew nothing of placing light against light, and dark against darkness; on 
which occasion the refections come most to pass; whereas they sought the chief 
effects and harmony in opposing light to shade, and the contrary, and therefore 
needed no refections : moreover, they avoided all great shades and broadness. But 
now-a-days the management is quite different; we are for great shades : and what 
makes a picture look finer than great shades and lights, whether buildings with 
figures and bass-reliefs, woody groves, or any thing else, quite in shade, agreeably 
lighted by the refections of grounds, air, or other light objects? It certainly gives 
the eye great satisfaction, with respect to variety ; and at the same time produces an 
agreeable union and tenderness, as well in the whole as the parts of a picture. 
Nevertheless it fares with refections as with all other things, superfluity causes a 
surfeit. There are also some, who so delight in reflections, that they shew them at 
all adventures ; and will often express almost imperceptible ones with the greatest 
force, by vermilion, ultramarine, red orpiment, &c. we find such chiefly among the 
Flemings, as Jordaans, Rubens, and many others. 

We must take then particular care, not to represent any refections without shew- 
ing the reasons of them, and how far or near they are to their causes ; that we may 

* Leonardo da Vinci, in his Srattato delta Pittura, has treated this pert of the 
subject in a way precisely similar to Lair esse. E. 


£. </e £a£refre inu 

Z. &rru</A<im, Ssu/p 

Of Lights and Shades. 


ri"litlv judge, what force or weakness they receive or give. In a word, that we 
need not be obliged to aslc, Whence the reflection proceeds ? why it is red, yellow, or 
blue, so strong, so faint ? &c. 

chap. vi. 



It is certain, that objects lighted by sun-shine have no darker or stronger shades 
than those in a common light, though they seem to have stronger ; for the blue of the 
air is lighted more or less, according to the sun's strength or weakness, and there- 
fore keeps alicays the same tint, as I prove by the first example in Plate XXXIV. 

The column, whether plain or ornamented with bass-reliefs, like the Trajan or 
Anlonine, is set up in the middle of the field ; and at a distance from it, at the side 
of the piece, a high tower or bulwark, the ground-shade whereof above half co- 
vers the column ; wherefore the sun shines powerfully on the upper part only, and 
yet we shall find the shade from top to bottom of one and the same tint. 

It is the same with the light of a candle in a darkish room, or in the evening; 
which, though stronger and of more force than the other light, yet does not in the 
hast darken the shades of the parts on which it comes, but let them remain alike, as we 
see in the second example. 

The lantern in the boy's hand lights the objects near it in part, when the residue 
is lighted by the window; we see then, I say, that the parts illuminated by the 
lantern, do not become darker, in the shade, than if the said light were not there. And 
if the day happen to be shut in, and night approaching, it will not only be darker 
about the said light, but all ovt r. 

But it is quite the reverse with transparent objects, such as stuffs, alabaster, horn, 
kc for want of the solidity of the preceding objects; as Ave see in the third ex- 

Suppose that the column, either of paper or alabaster, receive its light, through 
a small opening, either from the sun or a candle; you will find the shade about 
the part so lighted, to be more or less light, according to the strength of the light 
m such manner, that it may be plainly distinguished from the other shade whereabout 
is no light. 

This observation especially prevails in nudities and transparent draperies. 

In nudities lighted by the sun, we shall find, the small or thin parts to be always 

vol. i. 2 a 

178 Of Lights and Shades. 

more or less transparent ; as the eye-lids, nose, ears, fingers, &c. and therefore they 
must not have firm shades : but it is contrary in a stone-face; for though the sun 
shine ever so strong against the thinnest parts, yet they will not be transparent, but 
remain as dark as the thicker : and were this face to be painted with a beautiful and 
natural colour, it cannot be like the life, but rather a dead person — I speak with 
respect to transparency ; for we know by experience, that the blood, being warm, 
is thin and transparent, but when chilly or coagulated, it is corporeal or solid : 
wherefore it is certain, that, in this case, a dead person is more like a stone 
than a natural figure. We can plainly perceive this in slaughtered oxen : when the 
entrails are taken out, and a candle set within the carcase, the breast and parts be- 
tween the ribs will be more transparent while the flesh is warn, than after it is cold, 
and has hung longer. It is the same with a dead body ; for if a candle be set 
behind an ear, or next to the nose, they will not be transparent. 

The single folds of thin draperies appear more transparent in sun-shine than in 
common light, and have therefore ./aw/tor shades than coarser and more thick vest- 
ments ; but the shades of double hanging folds, especially when they are close to- 
gether, appear in sun-shine much stronger than in the single folds of thick stuffs. 
Leaves of trees do the same. 

The difficulty being thus solved ; namely, that the strength of sun-shine, or a 
candle, do not make the shades darker than they are in common light, we shall, 
to accomplish our purpose, shew wherein the sun's strength consists ; a matter 
easily to be apprehended by those who have well weighed what has been before 

We find by experience, that objects lighted by the sun have much greater force 
than those in common light ; which is not effected by strong shades, but by their 
broadness and sharpness, which common light does not give, either within doors or the 
open air. Some imagine the strength to be greater in the sun than in common 
light ; which can only make objects approach in proportion to their magnitude, 
distance, or nearness, as small life and large life ; yet, I say, that common light has 
this property as well as sun-shine. What difference then is there between either? 
No other, than in the one broad and sharp shades, and in the other more round and 
melting ones. The former causes plain and long ground-shades, and the latter short 
and uncertain ones. Hereby we properly distinguish a sun-shine from common 
light. That the one is more forcible than the other is no wonder; the proof ap- 
pearing in the two following examples, in Plate XXXV. better than I can express 
it in words: of these the first is lighted by the sun, and the second by a common 
light ; both alike in darkness of shades ; the one sharp, with long, plain, ground- 
shades, and the other the contrary. 


,<? & Ltiirrfie i>h- 

/■ Chrrtnyiar'i Jeuu i 

Of lights and Shades. 179 

1 once painted an emblem, or rather a Narcissus viewing himself in the water: 
I took the light more fronting, as it is commonly ordered in sun-shine, with an 
intent only to shew how I apprehended sun-shine with respect to the melting of 
the sharpness, and also to avoid a ground-shade, which a child's head near him 
would have caused on the cheek of Narcissus (the principal in the piece, and his 
left cheek already in shade) if the light had come sideways ; which woidd have 
looked so very offensive, that his view could not have shewn the beauty where- 
with he was so much enamoured : it was, moreover, indifferent to me, whether 
the light came from a side, or was more or less fronting; because it respects the 
general design no more than if it were entirely fronting. It is true, that large 
ground-shades cause the greatest elegance in sun-shine, if they come not too close 
together (for then they look disagreeable, and cause a certain melancholy in a picture), 
but appear more pleasant when intermixed with gleams of small lights to break 
their too great breadth. 

I call this piece an emblem ; because the poet says, that this youth, seeing his own 
likeness in the water, fell in love with himself: now this sort of love discovers a vain 
conceit or weak passion in a man, so far clouding his knowledge and judgment, that 
lie is insensible of what he is doing; for the more natural expressing which sense, I 
had placed, near Narcissus, a child with a fool's cap, fawning on and embracing him, 
and decked his hair, virgin-like, with flowers ; and, to shew the delight he took in 
his folly, his motion and look bespoke one affected with the reflection which the 
child shewed him in the water. 

This piece was richly filled with by-works, as figures, architecture, groves, cattle, 
flowers, and water, -with design to represent all the particular objects lighted by the 
sun, each according to its quality, and in the most suitable manner. It was tho- 
roughly finished : by finished, I understand, when every thing is in it to the most 
minute circumstance, not when only the principal parts are expressed, and many 
small circumstances are left out, or when things are curiously softened, as some by 
the word would make us believe. Be that as it will, 1 had not left every thing un- 
softened ; because the difference would then have been so great, that the piece must 
have had too much nearness ; since it is certain, that as objects go oft' they become 
more uncertain. The small and subtle things, such as small folds and features, dis- 
appear ; yet the painting might well be said to be finished, since every thing was in 
it that ought to be, with respect to its distance. 

1 had before painted the same design, for a model of that above ; it was laid on 
flat, and not in the least softened ; whereby the difference between them was very 
visible: now I must own, that softening is very alluring, and has an apparent 
distance; however, we may always perceive that the one has as much force as the other. 

2 A 2 

180 Of Lights and Shades. 

We have before asserted, that objects lighted by the sun cause a greater force and 
motion than in common light; which some imagine proceed only from the sharpness 
of the shades : now, it is so, in some measure, with respect to their broadness, but 
principally for the plainness of the ground-shades which the objects cast on each 
other; whereby things are often broke and divided in such a manner as if all were 
doable ; even six figures in a common light will not sometimes give so many pieces 
as four in sun-shine : whence we may plainly perceive, that sharpness gives a nearness, 
softening more and more as the objects go oft'; so that no objects whatever can shew 
any sharpness vnless they are near, because of the air interposing between us and 
them. ]f it seem strange and unintelligible, a due inquiry will make it evident ; 
wherefore I argue, that the nearer the objects, the more plain and sudden are their 
shades ; for as less air interposes between us and the nearest, so it must increase in 
proportion as they go off. 

Here it will not be unnecessary to relate a particular accident, as a confirmation 
of my assertion. I have formerly said, that in my youth I made my designs in 
water-colours; now I had one time, among others, painted one, which, by reason of 
its starved and hard penciling, I so disliked, that 1 purposed to try to give it a bet- 
ter face, though I were to spoil it entirely. First, I tried it with the glare of an egg; 
which, not succeeding, I fixed it on pasteboard, and made a brim of wax round it ; 
then I poured clear isinglass on it, and let it dry : by which means the painting 
became as neat and soft as possible; and, shewing it to one of my intimates, he was 
so surprised, that he could hardly believe it to be the same piece, because the body 
of the isinglass had taken away the aforesaid hungriness and hardness. But after- 
wards, on inquiring into the nature of things, this experiment appeared not strange 
or wonderful to me. 

By this occurrence I would intimate, that mist or air lakes away all sharpness ; 
making things gross and rough seem light and smooth, like a varnish or glue, gloss- 
ing every thing in nature before our eyes. 

Concerning objects lighted by the sun, they cannot, by means of strong and 
dark shades, and with yellowish only, look natural or sunny; because there is no 
difference between this and other lights, with respect to force ; I mean in objects 
han the life. The sharpness of broad 'hades, and the form of ground-shades, 
with the colour of the light, and their reflections, how weak soever, can naturally 
effect it: but objects as big as the life are beyond our power, if they were only 
to consist in force. Now, some may possibly say, that then it is the better to be 
represented in little; to which I most answer, that then the painting would not 
go off in proportion, but stick to the frame : of which we shall say more m another 


Of Light* and Shades. 181 



It is certain, that the ground-shades in sun-shine (which contribute much to the 
decorum of a picture) consist not only of length, broadness, and sharpness, but in a 
conformity with the objects which cause them, whether pillar, pyramid, square, kc. 
The ground-shade of an upright standing figure, falling on the ground, or any thing 
else, must be perfectly sccfi ; even so much, that though the said object were not seen, 
or were hid behind something, yet we may judge, by its ground-shade, what shape it 
has, which is one of the principal tokens of sun-shine. Some think this no 
great matter, and that when they have struck, on the ground, a long stripe of a cer- 
tain breadth, that is sufficient, without shewing whether it be the shadow of a pillar 
or a man. 

Speaking of this, I cannot omit mentioning a blunder of a certain great master. 
He had represented a St. Francis in the Wilderness on his knees at prayer, with 
extended arms before a crucifix, as he is generally exhibited. The piece in itself 
was very fine ; but casting my eyes on the crucifix (which was composed of small 
twigs of trees) I perceived that it made a distinct shade of the whole on the ground, 
though it was almost half in the shade of the saint. But what more surprised me, 
was, that his body, with the arms in the same position as the crucifix, but ten 
times bigger, did not cast a like shade on the ground, but the shade of a mass with- 
out arms. 

Now, we have said before, that though a figure or other object be hidden behind 
something, yet we can judge, by the ground-shade, what shape or form it has, as I 
shall shew in few words; for instance, place a person in a palace or apartment, 
behind a pillar, or the like, and let him be lighted by the sun ; his shape will 
plainly be seen on the ground by his shadow. Again, would you introduce into a 
landscape, a pyramid, tower, or bulwark, which is not there, it may be done 
by means of the ground-shade, when it falls into the piece from the side of 
the light ; whereby the objects, and every thing belonging to them, will be plainly 

Ingenuous painters of sun-shine have still an advantage above others, that they 
need not make any high tiers, hills, or buildings, id order to create here or there 
large ground-shades, for bringing forward fore-objects, and throwing oft' hinder ones ; 
they order their shades where they think proper, and can always support their so 
doing with reasons ; because we often see, in sun-shine, a small driving cloud sha- 

182 Of Lights and Shades. 

dow a whole piece of ground, and another ground shall be light again, and so seve 
ral behind one another : thus they can divide a field at pleasure into lights and 
shades, in order to shew things agreeably. 

I have, with great attention, observed the colour and shades of the sun's light, 
and found (especially in the month of September, about two or three in the afternoon, 
when the sun is strongest) that the sky has a clear blue colour, intermixed with 
small driving clouds. As for the objects, when the sun shines strong, they appear 
as if heightened with red orpiment and white, and the shades reddish grey, as white, 
black, and a little brown red mixed together, not uniting with the blue as in com- 
mon light, as some imagine, but becoming gradually a little more violet', and grow- 
ing fainter towards the horizon, where no blue is to be seen. The trees on the fore 
and second grounds appears finely green; the blue of the objects is greenish; 
the red is orange colour; the violet russet; and thus all the colours in proportion : 
deep water shone on becomes greenish grey. This exact observation agreed 
perfectly with what I had formerly experimented, in a bright sun-shine, by means 
of a small hole in the window of a darkened room ; by which I saw naturally on 
the white wall, as on paper, the reflection of every thing that was moving without 

But let us proceed further to consider, whether mis-shapen shadows do not make 
objects unintelligible. Beauty in general, subsisting either in figures, landscape, 
or other objects, exhibits all things plain and distinct in their shapes and forms, 
without diminution or breaking- them ; for things contrary to each other cannot pos- 
sibly raise an agreeable beauty in our eyes, nor convey to the senses a true idea of 
their forms, unless by a medium, consisting of a second or middle tint, which unites 
the two contrary parts, namely, light and shade, when they come too sharp on each 
other; thereby to soften the deformity on the objects., and to unite them. I speak 
of things which are, though broad; which makes round objects, instead of looking 
relieved, seem square or angular, as if in sun-shine : wherefore they appear not beau- 
tiful but mis-shapen : and the reason is plain, people are not sensible of any other 
decorum than what occurs to their eyes : for it is certain that things alter by the least 
accident, whether of unusual lights or shades, which makes them strange and un- 
known. Let some boast, that it is broad and the best manner ; I maintain, that 
though it were a sun-shine, it is all one and the same ; and if we are to speak of 
u hat is agreeable and perfect, I say, that it ought to be known that a picture with 
a common light is the mo^t perfect ; a light which shews us more exactly and plain 
the proper forms of objects, what is round remaining so, and the square altering not. 
As for the mis-shapes of things exhibited in sunshine, we have sufficiently shewrd 
them, as also that the sharpness of deformed shades spoils the true property 

Of Lights and Shades 183 

of the objects; for instance, suppose two standing figures, talking together, 
are lighted by the bud ; if now the one cast a shade on the other, so as half to 
cover his face, we need not doubt but he will become less known even were lie a 

In architecture or mouldings it happens as bad ; because the offensive sharpnoss i , 
the shades disfigures and confuses their form and neatness at once. 

I think it therefore a sigu of pusillanimity (not to say cowardice) in a landscape - 
painter, always to make choice of sun-shine, which is certainly but a small part of 
his art : as if an architect were to be continually employed about a chest or box ; a 
flower-painter about a flower-glass ; a cattle-painter about a cow or sheep ; a still- 
life-paiuter about a skull or hour-glass; a sea-painter about a sloop or boat; or a 
statuary about a crucifix. He is no history-painter who always represents an 11 >- 
rodius with a St. John's head in a charger ; or a Lucretia stabbing herself; or a Jacl 
with a hammer; or a St. John with a lamb ; all which are but particular iucidents, 
which scarce deserve a name: an artist, therefore, must not be afraid to exhibit 
every thing that can be represented with every sort of light. 

But the opinion of most painters of sun-shine, is as ridiculous as that of tho^e 
who always practise a common light ; both proceeding from a mistake or ignorance, 
whereby they cannot rightly judge of things differing from what they have been 
always used to : now, their judgment is only a conclusion agreeing with their ap- 
prehensions in a point which they pretend to understand, and which therefore ought 
to be thus and thus ; when yet it is certain, that before we can judge of things, we. 
ought first to inquire into them; and, by a comparison between both, to observe ukerein 
they differ. 

That sun-shine is not so proper for history, as for landscape and architecture, 
arises from hence ; that, on such occasions, it is obstructing, and appears hard and 
unpleasant, by reason of the sharpness of the shades and ground-shades, as vte 
have before intimated ; nevertheless, if the matter require it, it must be used, yet 
with such caution, that no mis-shapen ground-shades appear to obstruct the sight, 
or create an aversion. 

But if sun-shine were the best and most advantageous light, face-painters 
would certainly use no other; of which, to this day, we have not one instauce; 
because, first, the colours do not shew themselves in that light to be what they 
really are. 

Secondly, because it is impossible that either man, woman, or child, can, without 
trouble and an alteration of countenance, especially about the eyes and mouth, it 
any time with their faces in the sun. 

Thirdly, because the sun never stands still, but is always altering. 

184 Of Lighis and Shade*. 

Fourthly, because the sweetness of the features would thereby be spoiled at once. 

Lastly, because it would be -very improper to hang such pictures in a room, out of 
which the sun is kept. 

I shall proceed to my purpose, of shewing the prepossession of sun-shine painters, 
as well as others ; and, to be the better understood, premise, that there are three 
things wherein the whole matter consists, and which we must first fix, and distinctly 
observe; namely, a sun-shine, a common light, and a faint tight, which differ from 
each other as much in fact as name. 

The first is strong and sharp \ the second broad, but not sharp; and the third faint 
and melting. 

The first causes distinct ground- shades; the second makes melting ones; and the 
third faint ones. 

The first receives its colour from the sun ; the second from the clouds ; and the 
third from the blue of the sky. 

Observe now how these unthinking sun-shine painters judge further of the second 
and third lights : It is not broad, say they ; whereby we are to understand, that it is 
not so sunny and sharp in shades as in their paintings. Broad, broad! they speak 
to their disciples, in so low a tone, that no stranger must hear it ; as if it were a secret 
unknown to the very art. It is said that the good Philemon was so bigotted to things 
having broad lights and shades, that he never painted other than sun or moon-light 
pieces ; which he evidenced, in exerting his whole force to represent Jupiter with 
Alcmena; where they are both seen going to bed ; and yet the sun shines so bright 
into the room, that you might count all the squares of the windows on the floor. 
Poor Jupiter ! How violently are you dealt with ! Dares Phoebus, contrary to your 
express commands, peep through the windows, though you, charged him to hide for 
three days and three nights? But what signifies that, thinks the painter, the painting- 
must be broad, and the sun-shine must be there, were it midnight. Had he made a 
moon-light, it would have fitted that season. 

But it fares with such artists as it did with one, who was so fond of painting 
oranges, that he never made a piece without one. This zealot, having made interest 
to paint the battle of Pavia, asked his employer, whether there should not be an 
orange in it? How shall that come to pass? says the gentleman. To pass or not, re- 
plied the painter, let me alone for that. The other laughed, and not dreaming he 
would put one in, after talking of other things, said, at parting — Do as you think 
best. The poor man, glad of the authority, was looking ia his picture for a place 
lor the orange: but fearful if he placed so fine a fruit on the ground, it might be 
trampled on by the horses, he. contrived a small square stone in a corner of the 

Of Lights and Shades. 185 

painting, and set thereon, in a pewter plate, an orange as big as the life, and very 
naturally done. This innocent creature, (for such deserve not the name of paint- 
ers,) gives to understand, that, ivhat ive can do best, is best, whether it be proper 
or not. 

It is a constant maxim, that things, without san-shine, finely painted, and with 
proper lights and shades, must needs be good, without the word broad, which 
they abuse by introducing it any how. Do not think then, true artists ! that the 
pieces which are not broad, are not as good as those lighted by the sun, moon, and 




JLhis proposition may possibly seem strange to some, and perhaps a feint; but is, 
in fact, so far from it, or being a trifle, that it is a matter of moment, and founded 
on good reasons. 

We take it for granted, that the sun differs in force from other lights, and is a 
tint lighter. 

We often see in changeable weather abounding with driving clouds, that the 
sun is obscured by very thin and hanging vapours in such manner, that whole 
tracts of land, houses, hills, &c. even whole woods are overshadowed : which 
shades however are thin, and exhibit all the objects more or less plain than in com- 
mon light. 

But let us come to the point; which is, to represent, in a common light piece, 
a sun-shine with one and the same force of colours, each in its degree, without im- 
pediment to each other ; I mean, when the sun is not forward or in the front of the 
picture, or is not too much spread, which would thereby seem too flaring. 

To do it therefore according to the rules of art, divide, for instance, a landscape 
into four grounds ; of which, let the first be white, and the three others diminish- 
ing in proportion : let the second white ground serve for the sun-shine : now, it is 
plain, that as the common light on the fore-ground already possesses the force of the 
• olours, it must needs follow, that the sun-shine which is one tint lighter, as before 
said, and has no other force than the same white, can also have no nearer place than 
that of the second ground : a plain proof, that, if it be placed on the third ground, 
it will differ so much in force. Now, in order to distinguish the difference between 

VOL. I. -2 B 

186 Of Lights and Shades. 

this light on the second ground, and that on the first; and to represent it naturally, 
we ought to exhibit the shades and ground-shades of the objects, sharp, broad, and 
long ; whereby we may perceive, that this is a sun-light; and the other with dull 
and short ground-shades, to shew that it is common light. But the better to conceive 
the nature of sun-light, observe its colour in the morning and evening. 

To aid those who may not presently understand what I have said, I shall lay 
down a short method of management in a certain and easy manner. 

Having sketched your design, and settled the parts which you would have en- 
lightened by the sun, dead-colour it neatly, as if it were to be throughout a com- 
mon light : but in the second colouring you must somewhat more heighten the parts 
which are lighted by the sun ; whether whiter, more yellow, or more russet, ac- 
cording as you would have them, and so as to perceive a visible difference: the 
shades also to lie more distinct and broad, without making them glowing, except here 
and there in the reflections. 

Now, if on the fore-ground, or about it, there be no white, we have an oppor- 
tunity to throw here and there on it some sun-rays by the force of white, yellow, 
or russet, according as the sun's colour then appears ; which could not be done, if 
we had before laid the sun's force in the distance. 

Here, let it be observed, that if we enlighten some forward objects by the rays 
aforesaid, they ought not to be of light and bright coloured matter, such as white 
marble or light free-stone, very light draperies, or beautiful carnations; but of such 
tints as appear dark in a common light ; because these, strongly heightened with the 
sun-like white, will fetch out the same light. 

Now, to finish the work with certainty, and to find with ease the proper tints 
of objects lighted by the sun, proceed thus : temper your white with red or yel- 
low orpiment, more or less yellow, as you would represent the sun early or late. 
Then, instead of pure white, mix it with your light first tints of all the ob- 
jects which are lighted by the sun : whereupon you will find each colour to be 
broke according as its quality or force, with respect to its body, differs much or 
little from the rest. Thus the work will have the desired effect, experience, the 
daughter of truth, can testify. 

Of Lights and Shades. 187 



IVl any are such strangers to the truth of things, and so little inquire into them, 
that, to retain their groundless habits, they slight reasons, and maintain their 
errors. This is evident from their universal opinion, that the shades and objects 
are more glowing in sun-shine than in common light : which I entirely deny ; but 
that the shades and reflections become lighter and lighter, in proportion as the sun 
shines stronger, is true. 

That the sun's light is more glowing than a common one, is indisputable; for, as 
the sun's light is more or less yellow or red, it is natural that every thing he shines 
on should partake of the same colour, not only in lights, but also in the shades 
which receive the reflections of the grounds, and other near objects: but, as theiv 
are no objects (what strong reflections soever they receive) which do not here and 
there preserve some unreflected shades (as, when one object is covered by the ground - 
shade of another), so the said shades ought, since they have no communication with 
the sun or his reflections, and are of another nature, to be more grey, like those in 
common light, as receiving no colour but what the air gives them. 

Hereby, I think, we can best distinguish between a sun-shine and common-light ; 
wherefore it is strange that people, who commonly seek shades for the sake of cool- 
ness, will, notwithstanding have them warm. 

It is therefore no wonder to find so few winter-painters. I have seen winter- 
pieces of B reugel as warmly coloured as if for Midsummer ; even the very ice and 
snow as glowing ; though in winter all things receive light reflections, and have 
little or no shade, the ground-shades are lightish and blue, and yet every thing has 
its distance and going-off; though some, contrarily, make their ofl-shades as warm 
as the forward ones. 

For this reason, it is necessary for the artist sometimes to exercise himself in 
mn-shine, and make due observations on the nature of it; not making it his con- 
stant practice, but a particular and agreeable study : if he cannot be perfect in it, 
he ought at least to know as much of it as of common light, in order to use, in his 
works, sometimes the one, sometimes the other, as occasion requires. Some think, 
because of the broadness, that sun-shine is more easy than common light : but it is 
not so ; since I think it as difficult, for a sun-shine-painter to represent common 

2 b 2 

188 Of Lights and Shades. 

light, as a common-light painter to exhibit sun-Rhine with respect to naturalness. 
Many perhaps may differ from me in opinion, because, in sun-shine, the ground- 
shades are distinct and limited : whence they deduce this argument; that, in a piece 
lighted entirely from a side, and the sun having meridian altitude, the ground- 
shades of all the objects appear a third less than their full length, and therefore 
they may be correctly measured by the compasses, each in proportion to its length, 
on to the offscape : which I willingly grant, and to which I will say further in their 
favour, that it is to be practised, not only when the grounds are level and horizon- 
tal, but likewise in up and down-grounds, where the compasses are useless ; if the 
ground drip, the ground-shades will do the same; does it rise, they do so too, as 
the knowing in perspective well understand ; thus far, I say, they are in the right : 
but suppose it should happen, that the piece be lighted from within, or from with- 
out ; is it not then as uncertain as in common light, and, because the compasses 
are useless, much more troublesome to find the shades and ground-shades, and 
their enlargements forwards and off-diminutions, which ought to be as sensible as 
the sun is either off or forward? Contrarily, how easy is it in common light, where 
they are small and dull ? The task is therefore not so easy as some imagine, who 
endeavour only to represent a right or left-side-shade. To represent the sun in all 
positions is quite another thing, and there are few such painters : for we do not 
easily find a sun-shine-painter meddle with common light; but contrarily, that a 
cOmmon-light-painter will sometimes practice sun-shine ; and the reason is plain, 
the common light takes in every thing ; wherefore he who understands this well, can 
easily give into sun-shine. The point is only, that sun-shine is warm in the lights, 
i>ut not in the shades, as some imagine. 

Now it sometimes happens, that two pictures, a sun-shine, and a common light, 
hang together, both having the utmost force of colouring, and so alike, as hardly 
to distinguish the sun-shine; the lights being both alike and broad (for since the 
word broad is come into fashion, some will paint broad, whether it be sun-shine, or 
not, as well within doors as without. ; moreover, the light and shades warm.) What 
now is to he Jone, when two such pictures must hang together, in order to dis- 
tinguish the sun-shine? Nothing else verily, than to abate the strength of the one 
.-omewhat, and heighten the force of the other; not by making the shades darker, 
but by a more warm and bright light, with long and distinct ground-shades, not 
only broad, but sharp. I understand here, that the common-light-picture ought not 
to be inferior in its kind ; but not iroad-lighted or shaded, unless the cause plainly 

Sut we seldom see two such pictures together, done by the same master ; because 
most painters make but one of the kind their business : and, if it once happen, yet 


$■ cte £ <ztr*e/~/ e :n za 

J. farntirAs>» 

Of Lights and Shades. 189 

they do not think the one ought to be lighter than the other. And if they are done 
by two different hands, eacli master endeavours to make the colours answer his own 

Thus it happens, that the sun-shine-painters are in little concern about it; for 
think — Are my objects to appear by the force of light? I will, by the strength of fiery 
shades, maintain the superiority. 

We have said before, that, in proportion to the sun's strength, the reflections be- 
come lighter ; the reason whereof we shall now explain. 

We find, when the sun is low, and the objects are strongly lighted, that they re- 
ceive stronger refections from each other; because the sun's rays fall not obliquely 
and glancing on the objects, and those on others, but strike directly upon them, 
and return reflections : contrarily, when the sun is high, the reflections of the 
lighted objects cannot touch the others with such a force, because the reflection of 
the light must needs revert to its origin : for instance, if in a high light two men 
stand in discourse, and the one receive the sun on his breast, and the other on his 
back, the light which falls from on high on the breast must needs reflect again 
upwards, whence it came, and therefore pass over the other's head ; so that the for- 
mer figure can thereby receive none, or but a very weak and almost imperceptible 

Thus I think to have shewn, that reflections in sun-shine ought to be represented 
much stronger than in common light ; the proof of which may be deduced from, the 
life itself. 



Tn Plate XXXVI. the first example shews, the sun's place or quarter, which I 
observe as east; and opposite to it, in the west, is a building, which is lighted 
throughout from the east, not as by rays, proceeding from a point, and growing 
wider, but by such as are parallel to each other ; I mean, not from the centre of an 
assigned sun at the side of a piece, but from the whole quarter wherein the sun is ; 
or from the whole side of the piece, as wide as the opening, throughout which he 
shines into it. 

The second example shews the contrary to be false ; when the sun being directly 
behind the objects, the ground-shades are not produced from the radial but another 

190 Of Lights and Shades. 

For if this were good, it must follow, that when the sun shines directly through the 
middle of a street, he would enlighten both sides of it ; which is contrary to nature, 
and to what we have shewed before. And, 

In the third example, it is plainly visible, that when the sun is in the east, and the 
room in the west, the objects on the ground must needs be lighted directly from be- 
hind, as well the one as the other, without the least difference : which their ground- 
shades and the lines of the floor sufficiently shew, both proceeding from the point of 
sight, and the latter shewing us the east and west through the whole room. 

The fourth example in Plate XXXVII. affirms the same; representing a southern 
colonade lighted direct by the sun, which is in the opposite point ; of which building 
each column throughout casts its shade against the pillar behind it, not proceeding 
from a point, but by parallels according to the rules of perspective. 

The fifth example contrarily shews a great mistake, which yet is often committed, 
in making the ground-shades proceed from an assigned point, each column seeming 
to cause a particular ground-shade ; which is against rule, and the nature of sun- 

It will not be amiss to say something here of the light of grounds, to wit, that in 
what manner soever the light comes, whether from behind, sideways, or fronting, the 
plan or ground will ahcays appear alike; that is, in the front of the piece, the most 
light, be the suu ever so low, nay, on the horizon : and not only the flat grounds, but 
every thing that receives light: the reason whereof is so evident, that it would be 
superfluous to say any thing more about it, than what is shewn in the sixth example 
of a side, frouting, and backward light, which perspective sufficiently justifies. 

If some think, that when the light comes from behind or a-side, the ground must 
be lighted otherwise than fronting (for many keep it always most light on the side 
whence the light proceeds) I allow it, with respect to a candle or torch ; but, speak- 
ing of the air, must say, they do not at all understand the matter: indeed it would 
not be very improper in a ground running off from the light: but level floors or 
grounds cannot admit of a diminution were they, if I may say so, a thousand steps 
long ; nay, the ground will always be most light forwards, without any difference, let 
the light come from behind or forwards. I think no artist will be so soft as to ask, 
How then it shall appear whence the light comes ? Since it is a general rule, that 
the shades and ground-shades of the objects plainly shew it. And in case there 
were no objects on the ground, the air, if there be but the least cloud, will make it 
sufficiently apparent. 

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Of Lights and Shades. 191 




oome think it impossible for different lights in the same piece to look well ; for, say 
they, if it were good, Raphael, Caracci, Titian, Pouasin, and other great masters 
would not have rejected, but approved that manner ; even the French academy, which 
is arrived at so high a pitch, unanimously agrees, that no more than a single light is 
necessary, and rejects a picture which has more; wherefore they judge, that double 
lights are only the inventions of Dutch masters, who do not understand the antique, 
but follow nature in order to please ignorants. To all which I answer, that though 
Raphael, Poussin, and other great masters, have not shewed it in their works, but 
kept a single and common light, we must not infer from thence, that they despised or 
rejected that manner, as contrary to nature, but they neither thought nor Anew it, art 
not being iu their times, attained to its perfection in this particular : yet I do not say, 
that a picture with different lights is better than one single-lighted, if naturally re- 
presented ; I mean only, that if it so fall out and be judiciously managed, it gives a 
painting a diversifying elegance. 

I believe many common painters will not much thank me for disclosing this mat- 
ter ; becaxise, should any one desire such a picture, they would have more trouble 
in doing it. However, let every man do what he will, or can. It fares with our art 
as with others ; if a man will learn all that is necessary to become a good master he 
may do so ; or if he be content with half-inquiries, no body will call him in question 
for it : but he who is able to represent a single light well, may, in my opinion, also 
do the others well. How many brave masters surmount every thing they undertakr- 
AV hat should hinder their exhibiting three or four lights as well as one? But, let me 
not here approve the manner of some landscape-painters, who introduce many small 
lights into a picture : a fond conceit without any basis. 

1 thought it proper to treat this matter of different lights, to shew, that we ought 
not to regard the partial opinions of ignorants, but always chuse what is most Datura! 
and agreeable; I mean, that we should enrich our works in general according to oc- 
casion, and without affectation. For which purpose we shall here exhibit an exam- 
ple of different lights, Plate XXXVIII. iu expectation to hear what difficulties 
will raise against it. 

We see here a building or gallery, and before it a mote of water, on the brink 
whereof is a man fastening a boat. Near the water lies a heap of various kinds oi 

192 Of Lights and Shades. 

household goods, Two men are seen bringing forwards some small vessels on a bier. 
On the pavement stands a grave matron with a young virgin, directing the hinder- 
most porter to lay the goods to the rest. Somewhat deeper in the piece are two sol- 
diers ; one bare-headed, carrying some household goods. A servant is coming down 
the steps with a heavy chest on his shoulder. Through an arch of this gallery is 
seen, at the further end of a field, a garden ascended by twenty or thirty steps, in- 
closed on each side by a green hedge. Some people are seen going up and down the 
steps. In the field sits a herdsman with a dog near a stone. The forepart A, with 
all the objects thereabouts, is little lighted forwards, yet strongly. The gallery B, 
and the figures on the same ground are lighted directly from the side. Every thing 
in the field D is lighted like A. The steps C, and the objects on them are lightedfor- 
zvard. A receives its light from south-east ; B from south; C from east, and D, like 
A, from south-east. 

I appeal now to men of judgment, whether the lights ought not to differ from each 
other, as well in tints as shades. A, and the field D, to the steps, receive, as aforesaid, 
their light from south-east ; in which point I suppose the sun to be ; wherefore the 
air is there lightest. The south on the right side, which lights the gallery only through 
an opening, thereby becomes a little darker than the forepart of the piece. The 
steps C in the distance, covered by the right-side hedge from south and south-east, 
and by the left, from north, must needs receive their light from east, and the air over 
head ; whence we may perceive that the objects are never without light, however they 
are encompassed; since what they lose on one side, they gain on the other. 

I exhibit here another design, Plate XXXIX. also tending to shew different lights 
in the same piece. 

Let us consider it as a square room, which can receive its light from the four, car- 
dinal points: for instance, we suppose A to be north; B east; C south; and D 
west; again, No. 1, to be north-east; 2, south-east; 3, south-west, and 4, north- 
west : between these points are, south-south-east, east-north-east, &c. which are need- 
less. Now, we ought to observe, this room being open on the four sides, and a figure 
standing on a pedestal in the middle of it, and lighted from the four sides, from which 
side it would receive its strongest light : certainly from the east, where the sun is ; 
and next, south-east ; north-east, a tint less ; then, north and south, still a tint darker ; 
and so the same with south-west and north-west; the west side only should be the 

By these examples I think to have sufficiently cleared the point concerning the 
natures and effects of different lights; and also shewed the advantage of knowing 
them, as well in sun-shine as common light, with respect to the variety either in land- 
sea])!' or other subjects ; together with the abundant means they afford for enriching 

Plate \\\\\ 

I. famii-Axm j<u-' 


j. iM-ni'tfiam .<.•/.'" 

P/aire XLI 

I t',1 ■ ■, im<ini y. t'/p. 

Of Lights and Shades. 


a picture, and that above the common method. I subjoin, that in a judicious use oi 
them, we must be very careful in their disposition, that they may not, as 1 have said, 
seem forced, hut natural and necessary, that there may he a general union, and thai the 
principal part have its predominancy. 



X have already said much concerning sun-shine, and yet, as a matter of consequent- 
for history and landscape painters, shall from three designs (which for that purpose 
I exhibit) make a general observation upon it ; and thereby shew the mistakes of 
some, and the good qualities of others, as a precedent for those who would get ho. 
nour by living embellishments. 

Three young painters had once a controversy about the representation of .sun-shine ; 
they were each of different tempers ; one cross and positive ; another, meek and of 
good judgment ; and the third was by the others generally accounted silly. In the 
end, they resolved each to make a picture; and, to shew their skill, the two first 
chose one and the same design. — See the sketches in Plate XL. 

The first had given all the objects, without distinction, a yellowish light, and made 
the shades strong and glowing ; thereby pretending to express the sun as setting ; 
not considering, that he thereby exposed his ignorance, as having made the ground- 
shades too short. 

The second had expressed the shades and ground-shades not so sharp or so long; 
as representing the sun much higher, and a little fainter ; yet herein shewed so much 
more conduct, on making the woman and boy, who are looking at a huntsmau sound- 
ing his horn over the wall (whom the man coming out at the gate shews them) put 
their hands over their eyes, as nature teaches ; when the other, who had represented 
the sun much stronger, had not taken any notice of that circumstance. 

The first placed a man before the tree, sleeping in the sun ; the second, contrarily, 
had placed him in shade behind the tree ; and some other people were sitting in re- 
pose against the wall, in shade, to avoid the sun's heat. 

The third had made a design of his own (see Plate XLI.) to shew his nice observa- 
tions on the sun ; which the others, as counting him silly, at first laughed at. He 
had represented a naked boy sitting in an open window, and making bubbles with a 
pipe. The child received his light forward from the common light of the room. 
Through the window appeared the tops of some houses, and part of a column, with 
a sun-dial affixed to it. 

vol. i. 2 c 

194 Of Lights and Shades. 

Now, on a nice examination, it appeared, tliat this last had best bestowed his 
thoughts on the snn, and that neither of the others had shewn so many good effects 
in their pictures as he, in so small a compass ; for, first, he exhibited the colour of 
sun-shine in the sky and on the tops of the houses, sufficiently differing from the 
common light : secondly, it is not enough to represent the sun strong or weak, or 
with long or short ground-shades, but we must also see, by the ground-shades, how 
late it is; wherefore he had introduced the sun-dial, the ground-shade whereof was 
on nine : thirdly, he had observed the dubiousness of the edgy objects going off: and 
lastly, to shew that we cannot bear the suns excessive brightness without doors, he 
had placed the child in the window, in the common light of the room, that he might, 
with more liberty, stare about at the bubbles than he could in the bright open air. 
Thus lie justified the conduct of him who had made his figures shading their eyes, 
and advised the other to give his figures those of an eagle, said to be the only bird 
which can look against the sun. 

By these natural observations, the others owned themselves convinced : with ex- 
cuse, that they laughed not at his skill but his choice, which at first seemed odd to 



As we ought not only to view, as far as we are able, the wonders of nature, but 
also to represent their likeness : so we shall now make our observations about the 
most t/eaufiful of things. 

Who can be insensible of the three qualities of the sun, viz. his splendour, heat, 
((nd colour? Can any light exceed the sun in brightness and clearness, or any fire 
be more invigorating or consuming, or any colour have greater power? 

The sun-beams, says a certain poet, penetrate the depth of the sea, and render the 
sandy grounds light ; imjicrceptible things, sensible, &c. What light can effect what 
this does ? It is said that lightning can blind the eyes ; though this is rather caused 
by its suddenness than its light. 

As for the sun's heat, Ovid tell us, that Pheaton, being of an ambitious temper, 
importuned his father to let Aim drive the cheiriot of (he sun; which request being 
granted, and the horses proving too head-strong, etnd he ignorant of the course, driving 
out of the way, thereby set the earth on fire. The gold in the river Tagus was seen 
flowing along. This powerful light inflamed the Eastern countries, as Ethiopia, 
Lybia, Sec. in such a manner us to nuike the inhabitants black; as we see them at this 

Of Lights and Shades. \Q§ 

day: the lakes, rivers, and fountains Oo/Ied away; even the sea became a sandy 
valley. He, who would know more, must consult Naao himself. 

It is said, that the rolling and frightful noise of the thunder will melt metals 
in an instant: which is not improbable, since the penetrating- power has a great 
effect upon them. Two flints, by collusion, will produce fire. Even two pieces of 
wood will, by friction, do the same, though in themselves of a cold nature. 

In relation to the third quality the poet proceeds thus: Phcebus, says he, in his 
light hair, and sitting in a glittering chariot beset with carbuncles, gilds all things 
be shines on with a yellowish colour. What light has such a brightness and beau- 
tiful colour? What saltpetre, brimstone, or other combustible matter can reach so 
far, and spread from east to west? The white moon and sparkling stars, nay tin- 
sudden lightnings themselves, are all weak and faint, if compared with the absolute 
beauty and splendour of his lively colour. 

I therefore very much wonder, that such an ignorant can be found, as I met with 
about five or six year ago. Even he, who set up for a great master, plainly asserted, 
that the sun is blue, nay, azure blue* 

Was there ever harboured a more absurd opinion, than one which makes the 
most trauscendant brightness and most penetrating object the weakest ? since every 
one knows blue to be the weakest of all colours, and by which every thing is made 
to retire. What light can be drawn from blue? Does a blue body produce green 
red, or yellow? Yes, says Momus, a blue object will cast a yellowishuess; a yellow 
light, a blue one ; and a red, a beautiful green : also, a yellow drapery will give a 
green reflection ; a blue drapery a red one ; and white, a black one. Moreover, the 
light of the sun is well expressed, when the main lights are whitish blue, and the 
reflections yellow and warm. Thus, says he, we must reason about all colours 
lighted by the sun. 

I think this the bluest position that can be; for, in painting the sun and all other 
objects after this manner, could there be a more ridiculous picture? How green, yel- 
low, blue, and spotted would it appear? — But many are fond of party-colouring. 

We shall give here a description of one of this master's pictures ; a work as 
frivolous as his judgment about the sun. 

In this piece he had represented a Vulcan, hammering a piece of iron a foot 
long; one half whereof was red-hot, and the other he held in his hand : he had also 
exhibited a Venus, with the same precaution, sitting stark-naked and unconcerned 
in the midst of the sparks. 

( The painter here referred to appears to have mistaken a partial effect for a general 
principle; a mistake very common in our times. E. 

2 c 2 

196 Of Lights and Shades. 

Now, are not these fine thoughts, and worthy of representation ? Does he not 
seem to say — This iron is not heated by the. fire, but painted of a gloiving colour? — 
And indeed he shews it plainly ; for the pincers, which Vidcan ought to hold the 
iron by, lie by him on the ground. Moreover he was foolish enough to paint a 
fire against a hanging. But why do we Avonder at that? why should he not do it, 
since a painted fire cannot burn? We might suppose him as wise as the man 
who set a piece of ice to dry in the sun, that it might not wet his back in carrying 
it home. 

To find such wretches among mean people is truly no wonder ; but among 
painters, and such as set up for great masters, it is past my understanding. 

Those men who are unacquainted with the true qualities of the sun may be 
excused ; but they, who know, see, and are sensible of them, and yet through care- 
lessness or folly make such gross blunders, are unpardonable. Artists! be then 
advised in things ye do not rightly understand, that ye may be sensible of every 
thing art can effect. 

Is there any thing which we cannot immitate with pencil and colours; Avhether 
heat, cold, day or night, earth, air, water, fire, wind, thunder, frightful apparitions, 
sweet sounds of voice or instruments, sorrow, joy, bitterness, sorrowness, &c. even, 
invisible things, as the sound of a horn or trumpet, &c. 

But, let us now see how these things can be exhibited : are there not abundance 
of motions, postures, and passions, which herein afford us help, and which nature 
herself and daily instances shew us, if we will but take notice of them? What then 
can be wanting to make our meaning plain and clear to every body ? Does not an 
unexpected sound cause a sudden emotion? a thunder-clap, consternation; a fright- 
ful spectre, terror and trembling? a burn, rage, and a contraction of the members, 
sourness, pinching the mouth and closing the eyes ; bitterness, a loathing contraction 
of the features; sweetness, a placid countenance? 

As for the representation of hot countries, we know, that both men and beasts 
seek there shades and caves for shelter and repose ; also, that it is usual to wear 
umbrellas, and go either naked or dressed in thin silks: in cold countries we find 
the contrary: for there people repose and recreate in the sun, or where he gives the 
most warmth ; they sit in a hut or a house by wood fires ; and if the country be near 
the north-pole, they are clothed in wool and the skins of bears, and other wild 
animals. Thus we see one sort of people seeks warmth, the other coolness. 
Here the sun shines hot, the snow abounds. The hot Indian appears almost 
naked; and the JLaplander and Russian hug in party-coloured furs. But as these 
effects are owing to the sun only, whose influence on these countries is in propor- 
tion to his nearness to, or distance from them ; so we know, that the heat or cold- 

Of Lights and Shades. 197 

ness of each climate is thereby caused, and the sun feels hotter in one place than 

Since we are treating of the sun, we shall also shew how the poetic expressions 
describing him are to he understood. 

Poetry and painting, being sisters, agree entirely; and, though fables and fictions 
be not thought necessary for a painter, yet they are delighting and useful, and we 
cannot be good painters without some aid from poetry. We may make use of poetic 
thoughts, as far as the history, whether sacred or profane, will admit, and as the 
nature of a thing can be thereby expressed. How can the morning, noon, evening, 
and night be more elegantly represented than Homer does it in some passages of 
his works ; among others, at the end of his Odyssey, where he says — All objects 
appear in the morning, at the dawn of Aurora, dark ; and afterwards, the imper- 
ceptible growing light distinguishes and gives their natural colours — thus he, as 
to the beginning of day ; and elsewhere, of the morning and evening, he has it — 
As when Phcebus, fatigued, hides in Thetis' lap, &c. He says further — Aurora, 
the day-break, and fore-runner of Phabus, rose in the east in her turn, sitting in 
a purple chariot, and gilded the tops of the mountains, &c. And Virgil in one 
passage says — Aurora risen out of TithorCs saffron-bed, &c. And in another — The 
sea was now got rosy with the morning-ray : the orange day-break appeared in the 
high heaven, upon the rose-colour chariot, &c. Again, as soon as the day-break, 
riding up heaven, to be rosy, &c. All which expressions give us to understand, 
that Aurora's light begins with redness, and grows gradually yellow and stronger 
as she gives way to Phoebus. 

We need not say more of the names which the poets assign this great heavenly 
luminary ; nature has the same daily in almost all those qualities ; and he who does 
not consider nature, will reap little advantage from my observations. 




Formerly, at leisure hours, I diverted myself with reading the descriptions of 
several Eastern and Northern countries, written by Linschot, Olaus Magnus, Arch- 
bishop of Upsal, and others ; and, on one side, I saw the Cape of Good Hope 
where the suivs great heat is tempered by the sea-breezes, as it is through all India 

198 Of Lights and Shades. 

Java, China, and other regions. Of China, writers say that it enjoys the sweetest 
air, and the inhabitants arrive at great ages, and no contagions distemper is heard 
of amongst them. I read also of many costly and strange rarities, and of the cocoa- 
tree yielding a refreshing liquor ; and what else was worth observing. On the other 
side of the world I viewed Greenland, which I found to be excessive cold, and full 
of high mountains covered with eternal snow ; the seas abounding with whales, 
and the air piercing and rigorous on the comfortable sun's departure; and, like the 
country, the people rough and savage, as we see in the Goths, Fin. and Laplanders, 
and other bordering nations, where cold air and nature have great influence on the 

Digesting these tilings, I had a fancy to make two sketches of them : in one I 
represented, according to the writers, palm and cocoa-trees, little water, but main 
hills ; and, for "the embellishment, some naked blacks; the light, a sun-shine : in the 
other I could exhibit little else than fir-trees, wooden lmts, and drifts of ice ; the 
people I had clothed with beasts' skins, and some hunting wild bears, others busy in 
dragging a whale <>n the ice, which they had killed with harping-irons ; in fine, a 
circumstance of their manner of living. 

These scratches were lying on my table, for further improvements as they oc- 
curred in my thoughts ; when a gentleman, on making me a visit, cast his eyes on 
them, and, though but slightly scratched, bought them of me; and, at the same time, 
bespoke another piece, the subject whereof I should have from his son, then newly 
arrived from Jndia. 

Accordingly the son described to me a certain place in India, (where he had 
lived) generally inhabited by blacks, except the governor himself, and some others. 
He instructed me in several particulars, as Avell manners and dress, and other things, 
proper to the country; all which I set down, and then made a rough sketch of it 
with a pen in his presence ; in which, he said, I had rightly taken his meaning. 
This being done, I began colouring it, in hopes thereby to get his future favour, 
which I did. The young gentleman's affairs, in the mean time, calling him out of 
town for three weeks, his father, on his return, had a meeting of some friends, and, 
on that occasion, sent for the picture, (which was finished) and at the same time de- 
sired my company. The piece was instantly hung up ; and, after the gentleman 

had a little viewed it, he took me by the hand, and whispered these words It is 

very well done, but I forgot to tell you one thing of great moment ; yet you can after in 
half an hour's time. To be short, I had taken the sun too loir, and also made him 
fall into the piece sideways, which occasioned long ground-shades ; whereas I should 
have made him vertical, [pit over head) as he most times appears in that country. I 
was confounded, and owned my fault ; for his criticism was just, since the great 

JP/ate XLH. 

(J- </" -£.ltri'/j<> iril- 

y! fitrrt'ffnam ./cir/jt> 

Of Lights and Shades. 199 

heat must he expressed hi/ the sun's nrtieal position. Here I saw, that after all my 
pains, I had failed in the main point, for the reason aforesaid. The gentleman's 
jiul-n:. nl was as right in one point, as wrong in die other; for he must needs he ac. 
quainhd with thr nature of the eliinate: hnt his saying how \ asily the fault might, 
he rectified, reminded me of the ease of A/ntt<s, and 1 thought— lYe sutor ultra cre- 
judas; because he therein discovered his ignorance: for ruhhing out of the ground- 
shades would not in the least have bettered it; and to enlighten the figures from on 
high, would he more work than to begin a new picture. Nevertheless, he taught 
me to make my advantage of it in time to come. 



At is unaccountable in many artists, who practice an art, whose theory is built on 
mathematics, its practice on experience, and the execution on nature, that they 
take so little notice of the three points wherein lies their honour ; especially in the 
lighting of objects in a sun-set; for the sun, how low soever, cannot shine on any 
objects under the parallel ; namely, not in the least from underneath, were the ob- 
ject, if I may say so, as high as the clouds; and yet we see many paintings, wherein 
the objects are, by a sun-set, more lighted from underneath than above — which is 
contrary to nature ; as we may daily experience, in walking against the sun, how 
troublesome it is to shade the eyes. We turn our heads sideways, or hold a hand- 
kerchief before our eyes ; even the hat is no defence ; and yet the sun never takes it 

This may be plainly evidenced by perspective; to wit, that as the horizon limits 
our sight, and the sun cannot, with respect to the eye, descend lower; therefore he 
cannot send his rays upwards, but along the ground, or parallel. 

These rays then, in their passage, unless you pull your hat over your eyes, 
must needs shine into them. I even dare to say, that, were the brim of your hat 
ten acres broad, and parallel with the horizon, it would not cast a shade of a pin's 
breadth over your eyes, nor the sun so much as take the under parts of the brim, 
though we were standing on an eminence. 

But, to be the better understood, let us consider Plate XLII. where, on the fore- 
ground, I place a figure with a board on its head (like the Amerieans) level with 
the eye-brows. Next, we see a high building, with a projecting cornice run- 
ning towards the point of sight; and, on the other side, a high column with a 

200 Of Lights and Shades. 

figure on it, having such a hoard on its head as the other. Now you may perceive, 
that the sun does not strike underneath against it, hut sends his rays parallel, I mean 
when he is setting. Draw then a ray from the sun parallel with the board of the 
fore-figure, and see how much shade its eyes will have. Fetch another ray from the 
front or cornice to the sun's centre, to find how much shade the projecture will 
throw on the frieze ; do the same by the figure on the column : then you will per 
ceive, that the joints of the stones in the building will be parallel with the sun's 
rays, and that the off-corner of it, though lower than the near one, will yet be 
alike with the near one, and the frieze parallel with the ground. 

If it be objected, that when we lie out at a window the sun is lower than the win- 
dow-board we lean on, and does not shine on it — I answer, that we only im- 
agine so ; for if we rightly observe, we shall perceive a small ground-shade of 
the cross-piece of the window, though ever so faint; wherefore we are enabled 
to conclude, that as long as the sun shines, nay, if but a finger's breadth above 
the horizon, the ground must receive some light ; and, of consequence, as long as 
the ground is somewhat lighted, it is impossible for the sun to shine on any thing 
from underneath. Suppose, for instance, a column six feet high, lighted by a sun- 
set ; if this column throw any visible shade on the ground, the ground must have 
some light ; and, if so, how is it possible that the sun should shine from above and 
from underneath at the same time? And if it be granted, that the sun does not light 
the column on top, its ground-shade must needs be infinite ; in which case the capital 
ought just to be lighted from underneath, and the ground, of necessity, to be without 
light. This is an undeniable truth, though the point be but little touched upon by 
writers ; even seldom heeded by masters : it is also no wonder to see some fail in it ; 
the most probable reason for which, as I think, is their ignorance in perspective. 




It is an old and rooted evil, and thereby become a law, rather to gratify our fancies 
and passions than consult reason : most painters verify this in their choices and prac- 
tices. To represent sun-shine, say they, is pleasant, and delights the eye ; therefore 
we must always introduce it. But this cannot be ; since the varieties of the seasons, 
and a change in all things visible, demonstrate the contrary. This light is indeed 
very agreeable in a landscape, but very disserviceable within doors; for, how ridi- 
culous, iu a great entertainment, would sun-shine appear on the table? And how 

Of Lights and Shades. 201 

could the guests see one-another? Or, how could the glitter of the plate be express- 
ed, without obscuring every thing else ? 

What a fine piece would that be, where the white table-cloth must be mixed with 
black? And how agreeable would it look to see the ground-shades of the window- 
frames and squares expressed on the table and floor. Sun-shine is not always pro- 
per ; and yet some will not give themselves time to think whether the subject require 
it or not ; as in Christ's crucifixion it is improper, because the Scriptures mention 
the sun to be hidden. 

The better to explain my meaning, I shall exhibit three different lights in as many 
compositions relating to the person of our Saviour. 

Of Christ's Crucifixion. 

Here, on Mount Golgotha, is the place of suffering. The sun, though at noon, is 
obscured by a dark cloud. Behold how the place is lighted, from the right side, 
where are the cross and people, receiving a strong and a broad light from the clouds ; 
all this appears on the second ground. The figures on the fore-ground, shadowed 
by a cloud, are not so broadly lighted, but unite gradually in force with the others, 
until they come to be alike broad-lighted. About the third ground the sky is darker, 
and full of heavy clouds, which, as they rise, seem to draw a little cross towards the 
sun, which is on the right side. 

Now, we must follow truth as much as possible, and not our fancies or choices. 
Here, every thing ought to be still and inactive ; Christ is dead : does not this furnish 
sufficient reason for mourning? Wherefore I chose the aforesaid light, as best ex- 
pressing sorrow. And yet it is not proper on all occasions, as may appear in the 
two following compositions : one of which is strong and broadly lighted, and the 
other with sun-shine, sharp and long-shaded. 

Truly, a piece with these considerations, and exhibiting the nature of things and 
times, must needs please the curious : even the very hearing such reasons and ob- 
servations can make an amateur knowing; especially, if he be instructed by a good 
master in right principles, and is somewhat conversant in drawing. Such a one may 
even couviuce painters, if he have a particular genius, quick apprehension, and a 
good memory; improve his time, read good books, and shun such company as talk 
much and do little. 

To converse with the skilful and judicious is very commendable; but the con- 
trary injurious. Reason should always take place, and a discerning judgment not 
to be rejected. Rather do something less, and weigh it thoroughly. Augustus's 
saying is, on this occasion, not amiss, festina lente; haste with ease. Good things 

vol. i. 2d 

202 Of Lights and Shades. 

will endure, but those which are so seemingly must decay. But my zeal has car- 
ried me too far, and therefore I shall return to my purpose in the ordonnance. 

Of Christ's Burial. 

The rock on the left side of the piece, which opens a little forward, and has a 
dark and deep entrance, is the place of Christ's burial. The funeral rites are per- 
formed within, and one or two lamps are seen somewhat to light the hollow. The 
body is carried in by three or four men. The time is about the evening, and the 
sun does not shine. Behold the people against the rock, almost without ground- 
shades, as being lighted from on high, and a little forward ; because of another 
piece of a rock rising up there by the side, alike with the former. Observe the 
three figures on the ground, standing between the two rocks; those, wanting the 
fore-light, must needs receive it from behind. Somewhat further, on the third ground 
(which is the common road) some people are coming close by the trees standing 
ou the right side of the piece, who, on the other side beyond the large rock re- 
ceive their light from the left side; a plain proof that, were they more distant in 
the field, they would be lighted from all sides. 

My principal remark on the piece is this. This burying place belongs to Joseph 
of Arimathea, and lies near the city of Jerusalem, as the text shews. He is there 
with his people, who carry in the corpse. Now, ray intention is, to light this fore- 
most group as strongly as possible, and yet without sun-shine : the light comes al- 
most fronting, by reason of the side of the rocks, which obstruct a side light ; so 
that they can scarce have any shade, other than from behind through the rock or 
burying-place, a little from some cypresses standing on one side of it. Between 
the two rocks, I shew, that the people, coming forward, must needs be lighted from 
behind, since they are still half in the open air ; and that those somewhat further 
off in the road, against the side trees, ought to be lifted forwards, backwards, 
and from the left side, where the rock is very low ; consequently have but little 
shade on the right side of the trees, against which their ground shades fall. 

The other group and the stone-heaps in the field, on a lower ground, I shew to be 
lighted from all sides, and to have no other shade than from below, and the deepest 
hollows ; because the sky is settled, and without clouds. Now, it is certain, that 
few will relish so nice an observation ; since they follow their own fancies without 
further inquiry: yet if any of the circumstances were omitted, the matter would also 
be less apparent. 

The chief regards had here are to the light; the time or hour; the situation of 
the burying place ; and the quality of the man who performed the funeral rites, not 
only as to his person and authority, but also with respect to his dress ; together 

Of Lights and Shades. 203 

with the manner of the solemnity, according to scripture: all which appear plainly. 
As for the stone heaps in the distance, they are burying places raised up and down 
about Jerusalem (of which the aforesaid is one) we see them small and mean, large 
and stately, according to the conditions of those who caused them to be made ; 
as the scripture testifies. 

Let us now observe the third ordonnance. 

Of Christ's Resurrection. 

I again represent here a rock ; before the entrance of which is sitting the young 
man or angel, on the stone or sepulchre, in shining raiment, speaking to the three 
women, and pointing upwards. Christ arising, is surrounded with rays like those 
of the sun ; whereby, two of the women (one beholding him with her hand over her 
eyes) are so strongly and sharply lighted, that their shades, by reason of the near- 
ness of the dazzle, fall very distinct on the ground forwards, and on every thing 
else thereabouts. One of these women, as nearest the young man, thereby receives 
strong reflections ; when the third (who is stepping towards the sepulchre) is with- 
out the reach of either light; and though receiving, in a manner, some light from the 
air, yet melts in the broad shades. Somewhat further, on the second ground, the 
trees also, along the way, give broad shades. In the offscape is seen Jerusalem 
in a rising mist ; because it is day-break ; the heavens abounding with thin clouds 
mostly in the sun's quarter, which on the right side of the piece appears a little on 
the horizon, somewhat yellowish and purple. 

Now, if an amateur or master will, with due reflection, join his thoughts with 
mine, and not fear any trouble in the performance, I question not but he will, by 
-such a representation, satisfy artists, and merit the name of a great master. 



W e need not say further, that lights differ in their kinds, as having in the prece- 
ding chapters sufficiently shewed their natures, effects, and qualities ; yet, to finish 
this head, we shall here subjoin some particulars which could not before have place. 
As for the sun, my opinion is, that he cannot be represented in any picture ; first, 
because the eye is too weak to behold him ; and therefore his force cannot be ex- 

2 d 2 

204 Of Lights and Shades. 

pressed otherwise than by his making all objects dark and black. Secondly, he- 
cause when he shines directly in our faces, we cannot perceive the right shape or 
colour of things, unless we shade the eyes, as nature teaches. 

For the same reason, I think, we may not represent a burning candle, torch, or 
other matter giving a great light, unless we also exhibit the objects as this light 
makes them appear to us, and not. as by their colour, stir, and union, they really are ; 
for the further from the candle the more faint they become. It is therefore folly to 
maintain, that the natural force of candle-light, especially if the flame be seen, can 
be imitated, since it is past our skill to give the other work its appearance ; for when 
the light of the candle shines in our faces, the most deep and dark colours, even 
black itself, appear neither darker or blacker than they would in a dark day. But 
we shall afterwards treat more largely of these lights ; aud therefore now proceed 
to say — 

That, those who love to paint sun-shine may observe, that it is proper for sacrifices, 
combats, bacchanals, dancings, sports of herdsmen, and sundry other jovial occur- 
rences and histories, which require great bustle ; but very improper and obstructing 
in councils, pleadings, entertainments, academies, wedding-ceremonies, and other 
such circumstances. But cloud-light gives an uncommon decorum and naturalness 
in solemn affairs ; such as, assemblies of magistrates, pleadings, and other business 
of authority and consequence. 

The third of the lights, of which we have spoken (the torch or candle) is proper 
for mournful occasions, for dying persons, burials, and such like ; especially in the 
open air. 

The sun appears agreeable and delightful in the open field, when, through thick 
bushes and trees, his rays here and there light the grounds, and the people are seen 
reposing or diverting in the shade ; but he acts against nature, who exhibits tender 
and beautiful virgins basking in a sun-shiny field, staring at the sun, and talking and 
beholding each other with as little concern as if it were but a candle or star-light; 
since he himself would leave their company, and retire to shade. 

To prevent any mistakes of which kind, let us describe the chief times of the day. 

This first-born time of the day favours the enterprizes of great generals in besieg- 
ing or storming a town ; no time more proper for it, by the example of Joshua in 
taking Jericho. This rule, though not without exception, has been observed by all 
nations ; of which I could give many instances. The battle of Pompey against 
Ccesar began at that time. It is also the proper time for hunting ; as in the repre- 
sentation of a Diana, Cephalus, Adonis, or any such subject. Judicious masters 

Of Lights and Shades. 20.") 

always chuse the hour of the day which host agrees with their story. This time is 
of singular advantage for the half tints it gives ; exhibiting all things in their natural 
colours ; whence arise an uncommon agreeableness and decorum. 

The Morning. 

This time principally rejoices nature ; even inanimate things are sensible of it : the 
glittering light takes the tops of high mountains, and causes, both in buildings and 
landscape, great shades, appearing very delightful. This light, at breaking out, 
gives uncommon sweetness when the objects shine in the water; as also a certain 
freshness mixed with vapours, which bind the parts of things so well together, as 
entirely to please the eye of the knowing. 

At this time the Heathens offered their sacrifices ; and we read in the books of 
Moses, that the Children of Israel had not only their morning oblations, but also wor- 
shipped the golden calf at that time. The Jews retain those customs to this day ; 
as also did the ancient Christians, who often baptized in the morning; as was like- 
wise Christ in Jordan. The Persians moreover honoured the morning by their 
offerings. Wherefore we ought to have due regard to the time of the day on all 
such occasions ; and take especial care that the light on the principal object and 
place, according to Poussins conduct in a picture of Christ restoring the blind to 
sight ; wherein the greatest and strongest light is entirely spread over our Saviour. 

The Light between Morning and Noon. 
This light is not very fit for objects, if it be not broken by some accident of rain, 
storm, or tempest. Such a time may be proper for mournful occasions ; such as the 
last judgment and our Saviours suffering, when (as said in the last chapter) the sun 
was darkened ; which looks frightful, and causes an inexpressible amazement : 
wherefore fine and pleasant weather would, on such occasions, look ridiculous. 

At this time the sun, darting his glittering rays, shines in full splendour ; wherefore 
I desire those, who use this season, to think that nature effects, by the force of this 
light, what cannot be represented ; since we often fail in our utmost attempts for 
that purpose : whereby it happens, that in endeavouring to make things come for- 
ward, we often use such a force of light, on the fore-ground, as far exceeds that of 
the sun ; as in the case of draperies of a fiery colour, or the like. Certainly an un- 
accountable way of proceeding. 

Nevertheless the sun's light may be hidden behind mountains, buildings, &c 
This hour gives rest to human labour. The Scriptures tell us that Christ, tired 

206 Of Lights and Shades. 

with his journey, sat to rest on the well ; which gave the woman of Samaria occasion 
to hear his wonderful prediction ; his disciples, also wearied, sat down near him. 
He who endeavours truly to represent the natures of things, must especially observe 
the times and hours proper to them. 

The Afternoon. 
As this season is most liable to diversity of weather, by means of driving clouds, 
which occasion many overcasts, it is very proper in the representation of bacchanals 
and licentious actions. But these are not always fixed to that time. 

The Evening. 

Labour ceasing at this time, it gives liberty for all sorts of pastime ; as dancing, 
walking, &c. If you would represent the marching home of an army, or herdsmen 
driving their cattle out of the field, this time is the most proper for them. This light 
frequently changes its colours by the interposition of rising vapours, which it draws ; 
but does, notwithstanding, most times eularge the superfices of objects. When the 
shades do not receive the reflection of other objects, they ought to partake of the 
light. This season is quite different from the morning ; yet no less agreeable, by its 
small glittering lights, if we keep the general light somewhat dusky, which creates 
great masses or parts ; especially when the colours are somewhat dispersed by a 
judicious master. 

At noon the sun's light must proceed from on high, giving short ground-shades ; 
but in an evening his light must be low, and causing long ground-shades. 

This morning is like the evening, and with the moon-light agrees. 



X question not but many of my positions and observations in this point will be 
censured as heterodox, for being contrary to both ancient and modern practice : 
nevertheless, I shall not fear to enforce them, that discreet artists may inquire 
whether they are founded on reasons, or not ; especially seeing they are not new in- 
ventions, but corrections of old mistakes; as I think I shall prove. 

I suppose, then, that it is a gross error to represent the moon less than the life ; 
because, how distant soever she be, we nevertheless see her like the sun always 
retain her natural bigness : and if this be granted, the contrary must be unnatural,. 
and therefore forbidden to a painter, who is the imitator of true nature. 

Of Lights and Shades. 20? 

Had I a mind to paint moon-sliine, I would, without injury to nature, manage 
it, as I have before said, I would represent the sun ; that is, to exhibit her shine. 
but not her body (for the light is of greater moment in a picture than the bodies < ; 
either the sun, moon, or a candle) lighting my objects thereby either from behind, 
side-ways, or forwards (and as well in figures as landscape) somewhat darker than 
the day-light, that it may appear a true moon-light, and not a sun-shine (which 
it very much affects by its sudden lights and sharp ground-shades) making the blue 
sky here and there, with some glittering stars. And to make it still look more na- 
tural, we may, if the subject permit, introduce up and down torches or other lights, 
burning piles of wood, offerings or other fires, as occasion requires, and thereby 
make the lights stronger, and the colouring russet or more yellow ; yet the shades 
not to be so sharp as those of the moon. This would, in my opinion, have a fine 
effect, especially if the said accidental lights were mostly ordered in dark places. 
But we ought principally to observe, that in the whole there must be seen more dark- 
ness than light, and that no colours appear so beautiful as those of the sky, in re- 
ference to the moon, unless they be red, yellow, and such others as are peculiar 
to burning lights (as we have shewed in the first chapter of the Fourth Book) for 
light red and yellow become dark: the moon's brightness, contrarily, makes dark 
blue and sea-green appear lighter; but black keeps its post; wherefore little light 
red, and as little dark blue, ought to be seen in the picture. 

By such a disposition we gain two advantages: 1. A natural light. 2. An un- 
common variety in the colours. 

If any one find any difficulty herein, he may please to know, that he is no more 
obliged to exhibit the moon than the sun in his piece; because the former takes its 
course round the heavens as well as the latter, and may therefore be placed as the 
elegance of the figures and by-works require, since both illuminate the earth and 
its objects forwards, backwards, and sideways. 

As to quality, in three particulars the moon is so like the sun, that there is no 
difference between them : as, 1. She always throws her rays parallel as well as he. 
2. All that is lighted by her is broad and sharp. 3. The shades on the ground are 
plain, and conform with the objects : but the reflections are not so strong as in sun- 
shine ; because the moon-light is weaker than the sun's, by reason of the opposite 
natures of those two luminaries, the one beng warm, and the other cold ; and as 
the moon receives her light from the sun, she can therefore not have so much power 
to impart it to the earth; nor the objects, lighted by her, appear so distinct to the 
eye. Again, as the sun often alters his colours by means of the vapours which he 
exhales, so we find the same in the moon, who, by the same means becomes also 
more pale or yellow in proportion to the vapours about her, or the air's rarity or 

203 Of Lights and Shades. 

Can it be doubted, whether such a piece of moon-light, without the appearance 
of her body, be such, when the darkness, broadness, and sharpness of the ground- 
shades, and the paleness of the colour are well observed, all which conjunctively 
express evening or night. If it be a question, Whether this were the former prac- 
tice ? I say, I have no business to inquire into that, since we ought not to accom- 
modate the art to fancy, but our senses to the art. It is to as little purpose to con- 
sider, what is done ; but rather, what may or ought to be clone, according to the 
dictates of right reason. In short, it is impossible, when the three aforesaid qua- 
lities are well observed in a piece, it should fail of representing a very natural moon- 

As my position runs counter to an old custom, and therefore not so easy to ap- 
prehension. I have endeavoured to explain myself by the three examples in Plate 

In the first I shew the moon in her natural bigness, yet without the piece ; be- 
cause she would otherwise come too near the horizon, and cause too long and dis- 
agreeable ground-shades. 

In the second she is exhibited after the old way. And, 

In the third, I shew only a starry sky, with the strong light of a moon, who, as 
in the first example, is without the picture. 

If any one think, that the moon's body gives a strong glitter, elegance, and life 
to a piece ; I say, the sparkling light of the stars does the same; especially if we make 
them as large as they appear to us ; but not in a perspective way, as being between 
heaven and earth, like the moon. However, we need not represent them all, but 
the chief ouly ; such as the chariot, the triangle, the serpent, the north and evening 
star, and such as make a known figure: all which, as having no figural being, but. 
only the shrine of very small light, may be easily expressed by small points. 

We may also make the moon, though without the piece, appear in the water, 
and cause an agreeable reflection in the waving surges ; and, by choosing such a 
side-light, we have the advantage of representing all things most beautiful, neither 
more nor less than in sun-shine or common light. 

I must subjoin another important consideration; which is. that ns the moon's 
light is sometimes obstructed by high objects, such as rocks, palaces, trees, hills, they 
have no power to enlighten or bring out the objects or bodies in them, though ever 
so near. For this reason, a painter ought to avoid such accidents, and not to intro- 
duce them umess through necessity, to create a harmony or force ; and to place 
them mostly forward, or in the. distance, against the sky; for setting them between 
both cannot but make a disagreeable spot, unless it. be broke by some water where- 
in reflection of some stars or other lights of the air appear; and, into such a choice 



Of Lights and Shade*. 209 

of landscapes or visto, you may introduce -white marble images, buildings, light 
by-works, and light-coloured stuffs, which altogether look agreeable: and, as the 
night-vapours are more dense than those of the day, so the distant objects becom< 
more suddenly dark and undistinguishable. Forget not, that in windy weather, 
the moon as well as the north-star is encompassed with a yellow ring. 

If any person be not yet fully satisfied, let him please to weigh the following pal- 
pable reasons : the sun, moon, and stars, cannot diminish ; because we can neither 
approach nearer, nor go further from them ; but all sublunary objects can, by our 
recess or approach, lessen or magnify: and, to prove this, take a glass of the size 
you intend your picture; place it before a window, and draw on it the prospect, 
with the moon, as it then appears to the eye ; which done, you will see how large 
she ought to be painted. Now, if you approach with this glass some thousand 
steps nigher towards the sun or moon, they will not appear bigger on or through 
the glass, but have the same magnitude ; whence arises the falsity of those repre- 
sentations, which diminish the sun, moon, or other meteors, as well as the figures. 

I conclude, then, that the pictures, exhibiting nature contrary to what she ought 
to be, are liable to censure, and that w r e ought to seek truth by ratiocination, and 
then, waving old customs and prejudice, to believe our own eyes. 

I shall further illustrate this matter in the chapters, shewing what is meant by a 
table; and of the uses of magnifying and diminishing glasses, and of the differ- 
ence between large and small, warm and weak painting ; to which we refer the 
curious artist. 



Having, in the most plain and concise manner, treated of the effects of the sun, 
moon, and star-lights, we shall, on the same footing, speak also of the auxiliary 
lights, which necessity for the ease of mankind has contrived, and art brought to 

I think it not amiss to shew here, iu the first place, the force and property of 
these particular lights in such a manner as I conceive them. 

That of a flambeaux, or torch, is at night the most powerful and beautiful ; having 
two qualities, to wit, of affrighting and rejoicing. Its light is very proper for bac- 
chanals, entertainments, ploys, and other joyful meetings; and, on the contrary, 

vol. I. 2 E 

210 Of Lights and Shades. 

frightful in sorceries, apparitions of ghosts, and such like nocturnal and unexpected 

The lamp is melancholy, faint, and gloomy, and therefore proper for burials, 
prisons, near sick and dying persons, and on mournful occasions. This light is 
most agreeable within doors, and in caves, grottoes, or frightful and unfrequented 
places of small extent. 

The nature of this light, and its effect on colours, are the same as those of the 
sun, with respect to its falsifying the colours ; but the light and reflection are not 
so strong ; for which reason, the artist is often at a stand in the vises of them, arising 
mostly from his slighting this light as a matter not worth his observation. 

In reference to shades, they are not much unlike those of the sun, as well in 
broadness as sharpness ; yet with this difference, that the sun-light falls more uni- 
form on objects, as he is more distant from them ; and because in the evening, but 
especially at night, the vapours are darker and more dense than those of the day : 
whence it follows, that all objects, deprived of the lamp-light, disappear; and, by 
reason of its nearness, can be lighted but in part. 

To confirm this, we shall exhibit a mathematical instance in Plate XLIV. 

Fix a point A for the centre of the light, from which all the rays flow. Draw 
under it a candlestick of a certain height, as four feet above the ground. Then 
sketch three or four columns going off further and further from the said point of 
light: let these be eight feet high. Next, set one foot of the compasses on the said 
point, and extending the other, so as to touch the extremity of the first pillar, sweep 
a segment of a circle on the shaft; do the same with the other pillars. Now, you 
will perceive that the first pillar is least touched, but receives the strongest light, and 
that above and beneath the touch, the light falls weaker and weaker ; moreover, that 
the furthest column is most touched, by means of the greater sweep of the com- 
passes, and therefore it will be lighted almost all over, but also most weak. Whence 
it is plain, that objects lighted by such lights are never lighted entirely and uniform : 
and, were they touched and lighted alike, it would be faint and dark, that, we should 
perceive nothing distinctly, either in colour or outline, more than in a weak moon- 

If any want further information how I apply this to practice, I shall now freely 
impart it. 

First, I sketch my composition on blue or dark drawing paper; then I make my 
plan, to shew the places of the figures and other objects, which I slightly scratch ; 
next, I assign a point for my light, either high or low, as occasion requires; on this 
point I set one foot of the compasses, and with the other touch circle-wise (with 
an extent equal to each object's distance from the said point) all the objects where- 





/. ./.■ /.,!//;•/.■,■ 

/. CarnruAam *cu£ 

Of Lights and Shades. 211 

ever it happens: 1 » v this means I find the parts, which; ns nearest the light, ought 
t<> have the strongest light : and. consequently, the diminution of the lieht and coloi i 
shews itself, in proportion as it goes off from the drawn circles. 

As Cor the reflections, they are in the same case with nil lights; the brightest, 

largest, and strongest give the strongest; and the purer the light, the more yellow 
appear the colours both in the lights and reflections; contrarily, the fouler and more 
vapourous the light, the more russet seem the colours; 

rA candle is yellowish. 
The light of' A lamp is russet. 

vA flambeaux, or torch, is more red. 
Artists, who delight in representing such lights, ought to regard the three follow- 
ing useful precepts. 

1. To keep most light together. 

2. To take special care in the melting and lightening of their outlines. 

3. To observe the naturalness of the several lights, whether candle, lamp, or torch. 
It must also be noted, that the space between the eve and the light, as likewise 

the first object or figure (if it come before the light) ought to be the darkest; but. 
if it be behind the light, it becomes weaker both in light and shade, occasioned by 
the vapours, which, as before has been said, appearing more dense in the evening, 
the night-light more affects them and enlightens them. 

Add to this, that the main-light being tempered with light yellow, russet, or red, 
the diminution and breaking of those colours ought to be found by black ; I mean, 
by black and the proper colours Wherewith the objects are shaded, and more or less 
weak in proportion to their distance; for the foremost darkness, and nearest to the 
light is more warm than the hinder and furthermost, which, in proportion to its dis- 
tance, becomes more blue; yet, much more in the open air than within doors; be- 
cause the vapours of the air are more subtle than those of confined lights, which 
being made with lamp-oil, resin, or the like, emit a foul smoke. 

But as to the foremost objects must, by means of a confined light within doors, 
needs be subject to nuich shade, whereby they often maintain but a small light on 
their extremities, it will be found, that such outward lights appear more or less 
strong, than the objects lighted straight forwards, according as the stuff whereon it 
falls is either rough or smooth. As for the reflection, with the light shining through 
thin folds, I observe the same management as I prescribe for sun-shine concerning 
those parts : but, in breaking the colours, let me subjoin, that the foremost darkness 
must be the greatest, and therefore less falsified by the light than those which are 
more distant; the colours, therefore, keep cleaner, and are less fouled ; and still less 
in the open air, than within doors. 

2 k 2 

212 Of Lights and Shades. 

I am even not afraid to add an easy method for finding the diminution of the 
tints on objects, according to their distances, not from the point of sight, but from 
the candle, torch, or lamp. Cut a strip of paper or vellum, as long as from the 
centre of the light to the furthest corner of the piece. Let it be a finger and a half 
broad at bottom, and cut away to a point at top. Then paint the point with such 
colour as you give your light, yellowish or russet, diminishing it gradually in pro- 
portion to its going off from the light. Next, with a pin, fix the said point in the 
centre of the light, so as to move it about at pleasure, to all the objects near to or 
distant from the light. Then divide this strip into degrading feet, small at the point- 
ed light end, and from thence gradually larger; by which means the strip will shew, 
without trouble, the right tint to temper. 

For the objects going into the picture towards the point of sight, you may make 
another strip, the reverse of the former; to wit, light at the bottom, and diminishing 
towards the top or point, to be fixed on the point of sight. 

If you would use any more helps for the diminution of the colours, and less 
troublesome, try the following method : 

Having, in my composition, exactly designed the figures after the life, I paint it 
like a common light-piece, without breaking the colours more than perspective re- 
quires. The light I take as from a candle or other matter, proceeding from a point 
within the piece, whether within doors or in the open air. After which, I take a 
thin glazing yellow of the same tint I give to my light, and scumble it neatly and 
thin over both lights and shades. This yellow must not be too dark, because my 
main heightening is taken only from a common light; wherefore asphaltum, yellow 
lake, and dragon's blood, would be so warm and sensible, as to take away the 
mistiness inseparable from night-pieces, tmless it were before painted accordingly, to 
the no small trouble of the artist. Now as glazed things commonly abate of their 
neatness, you may, if it be necessary, re-touch the main lights, as well in the faces as 
other parts, and thereby fetch out their force again. 

The advantage arising from this method is, that there is no kind of night-light, 
-whether of lamp or other oil, pitch, brimstone, candle, or torch, but it may be repre- 
sented with the same trouble; because it depends only on the tempering the glazing 
colour; the best of which, in my opinion, is gamboge, light pink, or yellow lake 
mixed with a little vermilion. 

I think these very good methods; because, sometimes in night-pieces, especially 
in great bustles, we use two, three, and more particular burning matrers for lights ; 
and by this means we obtain a sure method for bringing out those lights and fires, 
not only at night, but also in the day time, in the evening, nay, in sun-shine, where 
we often meet with flambeauxs, torches, burning altars, or piles of wood. 

Of Lights and Shades. 213 

But let me not propose these precepts as laws, but examples to exercise the 
artist's curiosity, and for his proficiency ; wherein I wish my labours may be of 



J. have been long considering a point, which, in my opinion, is very remarkable, 
and yet has never been settled ; though I think it may be done : it relates to the 
execution of histories, either within or without doors, and landscape embellished 
with figures. 

My thoughts are, that as perspective assigns a certain distance for viewing a pic- 
ture with respect to its magnitude or smalluess; or a large piece with large figures, 
and other objects going off, to wit, on the second and third grounds, those objects 
ought to be as neatly finished as those on the fore-ground, provided they keep their 
1'aiutness, caused by the interposing air. This position, I think, is founded on cer- 
tain and natural principles. 

But I must previously suppose, that when we say a piece is well finished, it must 
be understood that the whole is so, and not a part only. If we begin inquiries, we 
ought to push them as far as possible, to enable us to say, such a piece is artfully 
executed j nay, so perfect, that nothing is wanting : for that cannot be affirmed, 
when the fore-ground is finished and well painted, and the second and third grounds 
but slightly touched. I grant, that we sometimes see pieces with small figures, 
though loosely pencilled, accounted finer and more artful than large pictures la- 
boured and highly finished ; yet it must be allowed, that more work is necessary in 
a large finished piece than a small one loosely touched : the very words (tiuished 
and loosely) imply it. My opinion is, that if we be not wanting in trouble and time, 
as artful a piece may be produced, as what has been hitherto done, yet only by those 
who understand art and its rules in theory and practice. And though it seem diffi- 
cult to attempt a thing new, we must not therefore be discouraged ; for, what great 
things have not been experimented and performed? What did not Alexander? Had 
he feared danger and trouble, he would never have gone the lengths he did : he had 
a mind to do it; this created a resolution, and that finished his hopes. 

But, to return to our subject, let us suppose, that a picture ten feet high, with 
figures as big as the life, ought to be viewed at ten feet distance ; and that a smaller 
one five feet high, with figures half as big as the life, must have five feet distance ; 


Of Lights and Shades. 

and thus the smaller the nearer, according to perspective : now, the question is, 
Which of those three pieces ought to be most finished? Many will certainly say — 
The last; but my opinion is, that each of the three pieces must be painted equally 
neat, because each has its determinate distance with respect to its bigness. 

Again, there is another such piece ten feet high, but divided into three grounds, 
whereon are placed the same figures as in the three former; to wit, those as big as 
the life on the fore-ground, those half as big on the second, and the last on the 
third ground : the question now is, which of these three grounds ought to be most 
finished? Being all in one picture, the judges will, contrary to what they before 
asserted, say, the first ; and that the hindermost must not be so neat and finished ; 
since they can never relish that the figures on the second and third grounds ought 
to be painted as neat and elaborate as those on the fore-ground ; for, say they — 
Who would perceive it at ten feet distance? Nay, who ever saw such a painting, 
or did it? 

But the case is not, whether there have been such pictures; but, whether they 
ought to be so? We are not ignorant, that it is the custom to finish small pieces, the 
smaller the neater; and large ones contrarily, bold or loose. Now I would fain 
know the reason why there should be more work in a figure of three feet than in 
one of six? Can it be proved that the small one ought to have a fold, nay, a hair 
more than in full proportion? But what other answer can be made? If the custom 
were not good, it would not have prevailed, nor lasted so long. Nevertheless, as 
long as we reason thus without foundation, and bigot ourselves to common practice 
and old custom, we shall never advance. It is not the proper way to go forward; 
and therefore many keep their old station. But I Want to be informed of new 
things, without which, art cannot improve. Variety nourishes the mind. I grant, 
that men sometimes produce new things which meet, not with public approbation ; 
but, whence come they ? Either from false grounds and inconsideration, or else an 
unmethodical way of explanation. 

To express my thoughts perspicuously, I have exhibited them as plain as I could 
in Plate XLV. and question not but you will apprehend my meaning. 

No. 1. Has three pieces fronting, with their distances of ten, five, and three 
feet and a half. 

No. 2. Is the same in profile, with the measure or a isual rays which limit the 
distances, Avhether great or small ; being the same position as 

No. 3. Where they are all three in one. 

Now, my original question, with respect to No. 1. is, which of the three 
pieces ought to be most finished ? If any one say— the small one, because it must be 
viewed nearest. 1 ask again, whether there must be more work in the small than 

7%ug \\,\ 

jf. <& •^/7? mt> 

Of Lights and Shades. 215 

the large one? Now behold No. 3. where they are all three in one, according 
to perspective; and let the question be, which ought to be most finished, the fore- 
most or the hindmost? You will certainly answer, that it shews itself, that the fi- 
gures on the fore-ground must be more finished than what is further off, and that 
there must also be more work in the large, as being nearer. 

But how agrees this with what was just now said, that the smallest of the three 
pieces ought to be most finished ; since now you say, the largest must be so ; for 
example and objects are the same; and it is already granted, that the smaller it is, 
the nearer is the distance assigned ; and that in the smallest or furthermost, when 
nearest, there ought to be as much work as in the foremost : and though you will 
say, that the last figure is fainter than the foremost, yet there is not a fold less in it 
than if it were quite forward, and as big as the life. 

I urge further, when I highly finish a figure in full proportion after the life, I 
must sit at least as near as the model is high, to perceive even the most minute parts 
of it. Now if I would make another figure half as big, also after the life, to place 
it on my second ground, how must I then set the model? Ought I to keep the same 
sitting, or must I remove further from it? This last is never done; for if we were, 
we should, instead of a painting-room, want Westminster-hall, in order to model a 
distant figure after the life. But supposing it were so, must I then sit so far off 
that I may see it more naturally? It is certain, that I should not see the half of it. 
And though it may be said to this, that what cannot be seen in the life, ought not 
(to make it look natural) to come into a picture; yet, pray observe, that supposing 
I make in the distance a figure of a foot and a half high, and the subject require 
it to be holding a thread, to which hangs a medal of the bigness of half a gui- 
nea, the question is, whether I must express the medal, but not. the thread? Again, 
were I to express a window without the glazing or lead-work, or a door without 
hinges, or a key-hole, what would those things be taken for, if these did not ap- 
pear? A medal dropping out of the hand, an open window, and a screen instead 
of a door. 

From all which premises I infer, that if things be practicable, and have any 
bigness, they ought to be expressed in the little, and, as I may say, even to a 
thread. The distance makes thein natural, and if well painted, and the diminu- 
tion be exactly observed according to the remoteness of the objects. 

Whether these observations will pass current I know not; yet every man has 
the liberty to use or let them alone, as he pleases. 

216 Of Lights and Shades. 



Jlhis proposition is a consequence of the preceding; and, to be intelligible, I shall 
shew my thoughts by the following example in Plate XLVI. 

There is a gallery twelve feet high and twenty-five feet long, divided into three pau- 
nels, each five feet wide and ten feet high. The two outward pannels are clothed 
from top to bottom, and the middle one but half-way from the top downwards ; and 
under it is a handsome seat. The three cloths are to be painted by three several 
masters, I suppose with landscapes, all having a like horizon, but different points of 
sight. One master embellishes his work with figures, either fable or history : an- 
other introduces architecture and imagery, according to his gusto: and the third 
adorns his with cattle, or what else he thinks fit. 

The question is now, in order to produce a general decorum agreeing with nature, 
Whether these masters ought not to be concurring in their work, with respect to 
perspective, force, and diminution ? Certainly they ought ; for the light must in all 
the three pictures fall alike, either from the left, right, before, or behind; the air 
must be the same, since they all ought to appear as one landscape, seen through three 
openings, as two doors and a window. 

But now another question arises; Whether the figures in all three ought to be 
as large as life ? This will be agreed to, with respect to those on the fore-ground. 
But how then will it be in the middle picture, which is but half the size of the two 
others? How shall figures be introduced there in full proportion? For half a foot 
of ground, or five feet, is too much difference. 

Now, if the master, who is to make the middle as the smallest piece, paint it as 
strong and warm as he is able, nay, as a face in full proportion of Rembrant, it would 
be entirely against nature, and the rules of art. But, to return to our example. 

I suppose the distance, either in a small or large piece, to be one and the same ; 
even were the one as small as the palm of the hand, and the other ten yards high ; 
the reason and example whereof I have sufficiently shewed in the last chapter, and 
shall further enforce, in its place, in that treating of what is to be understood by a 
painted table, whether landscape, history, portraiture, &c. 

But, before I leave this subject, I must still start another difficulty. We know 
that a large painting is often copied in little, and the contrary : now, if for instance, 
all that is large in the original be lessened in proportion in the copy, how can they 
look alike ? as in the design with the two doors is exhibited ; in both which are largf 

allthatisUgeinthe original be lessened in proportion in the eopy, how ean tney 
2£X»T i the design with the two doors is exhibited , in both are large 

Of Lights and Shades. '21? 

clouds, and in the other small ones; and all that is in tho distance seems more dis- 
tant in the one than the other. If the distance in the small picture be that of the 
great one, by what can you prove it? since the objects, which, in the greatest dis- 
tance in the small piece are hardly visible, appear in the great one so large and dis- 
tinct. To which I answer, That, every thing appearing in the one, is, and remains 
in the other always the same, but so much nearer: and this is evident; for, is there 
any thing in the world, which, how remote soever, cannot be still remoter? It has 
been formerly said, That every thing on earth is subject to the laws of perspective, 
except the sun, moon, and stars, and what else is seen in the firmament, with respect 
to their forms; as for the clouds, they are moveable bodies, and therefore must be 
considered as earthly objects, lessening and enlarging according to their distance, 
height, and lowness ; all these things I say, can go off and approach, be distant and 
near. Besides, there is a difference between a copy and an original, as well in the 
form as use; I say in the form, because the one ought to be viewed afar off and the 
other near : moreover, it never happens, that the copy is hung by the original, but the 
fellow to it. 



J_o be better understood we shall begin with the air, and take these two points for 
granted ; namely, that all dark objects, in proportion as they go off, become on their 
light parts lighter and lighter ; and the light ones contrarily darker and darker, how 
clear soever the weather ; yet less in sun-shine, as experience sufficiently shews. 

Now, if it be asked, Whether the colour of the objects do not thereby also lose 
its nature and purity ? I think it can lose but little ; and only in shade, which, broke 
by the other side of the light, is gradually transformed into the blue of it, in propor- 
tion as the objects go off; or, to speak better, until uniting with the distance, they at 
last disappear. 

Consider also the difference between small paintings in the open air, and those 
within doors, in reference to the going off, and the colours. 

We say first, that the air without is the most clear and bright light, in the absence 
of sun-shine; and though an apartment must needs be light from without, yet it will 
be less in force and brightness, and therefore the objects more darkish, both in lights 
and shades. 

vol. I. 2 F 

218 Of Lights and Shades. 

Secondly, The objects cannot so visibly grow faint in their going off; because, by 
the smallness of the distance, few or no vapours are perceptible. 

Thirdly, The shades are not subject to any alteration or mixture, but retain their 
natural qualities, because there is no other light within doors, than what comes 
through the windows, and this has not power enough to cause any reflections, save 
some little near the window, nor give any colour ; so that by the darkishness the 
objects, whether portraits, figures, flowers, &c. retain their natural colours entirely, 
as well in shades as lights : wherefore, since the beauty and purity of the colours 
appear best by the serenity and brightness of the air, they must contrarily abate in 
their effects and force by means of the darkness. 

I shall here propose a small instance for explanation. 

Let a good master paint any thing, as a portrait, landscape, figures, or cattle in oil, 
as small and neat as a minature-painter, and let both these masters chuse their sub- 
jects most beautiful and natural : now view the two paintings together, and you will 
find, that the one differs as much from the other, as within-door-light does from the 
open air. It is therefore unnatural and against the rules, to use that warmth and 
strength of colours, in order to force small and distant objects out of their proper 
places, or to make the window fly towards us, instead of going oft' from us. We 
ought, moreover, to know, that things painted in little can never be taken for the truth ; 
since it is undeniable, that the life appears therein no otherwise than at a distance, 
viz. through a door, window, or other opening, whether within or without doors; 
whether they ought to be painted in such a manner, that when hung up they may 
not appear like a painted board, cloth, or flat, but a natural window or door through 
which the life is really seen : which cannot be effected by the force of warm shades 
or hot colours, but by the retiring and tender ones, broken by the interposing air, 
according as the weather is more or less clear or misty : and this, without exception 
of any ordonnance, whether landscape, architecture, history, kc. 

Experience will confirm the truth, if you view your picture through a piece of 
fine gause, somewhat bluish ; for then you will find the lights of your objects gra- 
dually grow weaker in proportion to their distance, without losing the beauty of 
their colours. It will even give a piece a certain softness and sweetness, and great 
decorum. You may make the same experiment with another piece of gause of a 
grey colour, in imitation of foggy weather; and it will not only darken the light of 
the objects, but also foul and muddle it, and make the painting look cold and dis- 

Having shewn that the use of the greatest force of shades in small paintings is 
unnatural and against art, as well within as without-door representations ; we shall 
now speak of the contrary, to wit, pieces with large objects, in order to shew what 
herein, without prejudice, we think the most natural. 

Of Lights and Shades. 210 

It is a constant maxim, that the life seen near is in greatness, force, and colour, 
superior to what is distant ; the one being nature itself, and the other seemingly so; 
for figures in fall proportion are like us who view them, in every particular of force, 
aspect, and colour, except motion : which being- granted, it may he easily apprehend- 
ed, if we will submit to reason, that there is a vast difference between large and small 
compositions of figures in full proportion, and those half as big with respect to the 
interposing air, the only true cause of things being more or less faint, and their ° 
off, as well within as without-door representations. 

Let us then rightly observe, in what manner such large objects ought to appear, 
that they may be natural and artful ; but previously consider two things. 

1. What light is the most proper for them. 

2. What handling is the most natural for their execution. 

As for the light, I think the common best, and much more proper than sun-shine : 
and though some, who set up for the buono gusto, are continually talking of painting 
broad, it is nevertheless a great error, as we have often said, always and without dif- 
ference to use that manner, since it is not proper, in a common chamber light, (es- 
pecially in figures as big as the life, which ought to be in all respects like the spec- 
tators, even so much, that if painted on boards and cut away, they should not be 
taken for painting, but the life itself) to give them broad shades, but dubious and 
melting ones, to the end that they may rise and round ; not black, like Spagnolet, 
nor grey, yellow, or russet, like Rembrant, John Licvcns, aud many other Italian, 
Dutch, and Flemish painters, who, without difference, bring warmth, as they call it, 
into the shades to such a degree as to fire them, only to cause force. Let this be 
duly weighed, lest the colour of the natural and perfect life be neglected. In my 
opinion, it is best to make the shade of the same nature as the stuff; exhibiting in 
all objects, whether nudities, draperies, wood, stone, either red, yellow, blue, or 
green, the most proper colour, as well in light as shade. 

As to the force, I should not be sparing either of white, or black, though many 
have pretended, that we must not use white: a good painter will attempt any thing. 
You must not sutler yourself to be swayed by this or that mauner ; follow nature, 
and you content art. Away then with drudgery and muddling ; handle your work 
boldly, yet not with Rembrant and Lievens to let the colours run down the cloth, but 
lay them smooth and even, that your objects may seem round and relieved only by 
art, not by daubing. Let the agreement be so general, that in truth it may be said 
the figures are large, strongly painted, and holdly handled. 

People now-a-days think, that painting has attained such a perfection as not to 
admit of further improvements; since the beautiful and great manner, the bon gout 
and hot colouring are, at this time, finely performed in France, Italy, the Netherlands, 

2 i 2 

220 Of Lights and Shades. 

and other countries, where art flourishes ; but we do not find now-a-days wits, who 
endeavour to distinguish themselves among the knowing by new inventions. We 
had several of* them some time since, of whom I shall name but two, Rembrant and 
John Lievens, whose manner is not entirely to be rejected, especially that of the 
former, as well for its naturalness as uncommon force ; yet, we see very few followed 
him, and these, like him, fell short at last; notwithstanding some were, and still are, 
who assert, that Rembrant was able to 1 do every thing which art and pencil could 
effect; and that lie surpassed all artists, even to this day. Was there ever, say they, 
a painter, who came so near nature in force of colouring, by his beautiful lights, 
agreeable harmony, strange and uncommon thoughts, &c. Having such extraor- 
dinary talents, in what could he be deficient? And is not that enough to charm all 
the world, though he had not practised a manner which was in use long before ? 

But I desire these men may know, that my opinion herein is quite different from 
theirs ; though, I must own, I had formerly a singular inclination for Rembra?ifs 
manner; for as soon as I began to be sensible of the infallible rules of art, I found 
myself under a necessity of renouncing my mistake and quilting his, as being founded 
only on loose whims and uncertain grounds, without precedent. 

And now, methinks, I cannot any where better than here shew the effects of mag- 
nifying and diminishing glasses, and the various opinions touching them. 

Many imagine, that a painting in little, and the life, seen through a diminishing- 
glass, are one and the same ; and that the small life, seen through a magnifying-glass, 
and a large picture, appear alike : but these men are much mistaken, and as wide 
from truth as the East is from the West. 

The glass ground hollow, or concave, shews near objects in their force, beauty, 
and warmth, with a diminution. And, 

The glass ground rising, or convex, contrarily exhibits faint and distant objects 
in a fuli proportion, dull and broken. 

Now, let any reasonable man view the two pieces; the small one warm and strong, 
and the large, faint and weak, and determine, which of them is most like the life or 
nature. My opinion is against both : they are like a man dressed in woman's clothes, 
and the contrary ; for one is too strong, and the other too weak. 

But admitting these men to be in the right, and we were to side with them, we 
should, by this their position and application of it, discover their wrong notion ; 
since they make the large strong, and the small even as strong as the large. By 
which, and the aforesaid effects of the two glasses, the mistake sufficiently appears, 
and artists are advertised of it. 

Of Lights and Shades. 221 



lo be short and intelligible, we premise, that in a landscape the air is so governing, 
that all the piece contains, whether distance, water, fields, trees, &c. must from it 
receive their decorum and naturalness, and at all times of the day, whether morning, 
noon, or evening, nay, at night also ; for as the air alters, all the objects lighted by 
it do the same: if the day be bright and the air clear, all things appear so : if it be 
evening, they are dusky, and at night dark. The master who has regard to this 
essential point must needs succeed, and be thought artful : and why? because he 
has in that part simply followed nature as an infallible guide ; yet he ought to be 
certain in lighting the objects according to their several natures, and to observe 
with me, whether there be a difference between a large opening without embellish- 
ments, and the contrary, with respect to the air. By the air is meant the superior 
part, which in a clear day is commonly called the blue of the sky. 

We say that the two unlike objects in landscape, to wit, one ornamented and the 
other plain, ought, in order to look natural, to be alike clear, and neither lighter nor 
darker, if they both exhibit the same hour of the day ; and if one were of a darker 
blue than the other, it is a mistake and unjustifiable, for one of them must needs be 
contrary to truth. 

Now, it may be here objected, according to the old way of thinking, that a master 
of his art may, for decency's sake, freely correct and alter nature when she is ob- 
structing : but I answer in few words, that in that case nature ought to command, 
and art obey. What can be the purpose to paint in landscape the blue of the sky 
two or three feet above the horizon, as dark as if it were evening, when all the objects 
in the piece are lighted with the utmost brightness and force, either sideways or 
fronting, although the sun be setting, even the shades lighter than the upper air. 
Consider how such representations must look in the eyes of the knowing, and 
whether it be otherwise than a day-occurrence or stage-play represented in the even- 
ing. What advantage would accrue if every body had true knowledge and judg- 
ment in the art, if we did not shew them art? what love can it gain ? he who knows 
art is very sensible of what it aims at ; wherefore a lover of truth ought to shun 
falsities. A picture is a probable demonstration of things, and the knowledge of 


Of Lights and Shades. 

visible nature is like a tonch-stone ; by which men judge of the truth or falsehood 
they meet with ; even ignorants as well as the knowing are allured by art if they 
find it like nature ; though they are differently affected — the former delighting most 
in mean and common things, and the latter in sublime and grand. 

But, to return to the point, and from the small to the full proportion, I mean 
pieces from five or six to ten or twelve feet high ; the question is, whether the light 
bluishness of the sky ought not. to begin higher above the horizon in a piece of ten 
feet than in one of five ? I think it ought not, because in both the utmost distance is 
the same ; and there is no other difference between the great and small picture than 
between a window half, and cpiite open, as the example in Plate XLVII. naturally 
shews ; where are two windows of equal height and breadth, one half shut and the 
other quite open, through both which the landscape and horizon are seen to rise 
two feet and a half. Now, we generally perceive, when the sky is clear and with- 
out clouds, that it appears blue ; as if we said, — It were all light ; assuming its 
colour slowly and far above the horizon, and therefore some landscape painters act 
very improperly herein and against nature : but figure-painters especially are most 
culpable ; such I mean who in their pieces, though ever so small, exhibit the air 
suddenly dark and deep blue, without considering the origin of blue: experience 
teaches that it proceeds from white and black, and is therefore in the morning, light 
blue; at noon, sky blue ; in the evening, azure; and at night, dark blue. In this 
manner I divide the four times of the day, as in the following example in the plate 
aforesaid we by double hatchings plainly shew ; and not only the tints, but also how r 
high the blue begins above the horizon and approaches towards it ; these are lettered 
A B C D for the morning, noon, evening, and night. 

It will not be unnecessary, on this occasion, to impart a thought of mine, touching 
warm and weak painting, as well in landscape and history, as small and great life ; 
since it also takes its rise from this fountain of the lights. 

We find that those who are accustomed to a particular manner of painting, have 
not the power to alter it on any occasion whatsoever. They who make large figures 
or landscape their business, and use great force and warmth, paint every thing 
strongly, without difference, though ever so small ; contrarily, one used to small 
tilings, if his manner be weak, retains that weakness even in the largest things, and 
cannot fetch out the force and warmth of the other ; a vast mistake, in my opinion, 
because it is such an easy matter, and yet produces so great an effect ; I mean for 
him who governs his work by rule ; for who, having judgment, is ignorant that a 
near tree has more strength and warmth than one at two hundred steps distance? or 
that a figure in full proportion has more force than one of one foot? I think neither 
of these parties can find fault with the colours ; he in the great, that he has not weak 

P&ue .Xl.VII 

//■frZat ,-<>;;,,* „,,. 

S. far-rri'Mtrtrr SeitAo 

Of Lights and Shades. 223 

ones enough, or he in the little, that he wants the strong and warm, or cannot make 
them so by tempering : if the knowledge be sound, nothing but will is wanting for 
good performance. 

But let us consider in what manner we may on this occasion arm ourselves. 
Good reasons ought to sway every body; yet scruples often make men fearful of 
undertaking things out of their way; not that they should not be able to perform 
them, but on an apprehension of falling from a good into a bad manner ; since ex- 
perience shews, that each supposes his own manner the best. 

I think I have found out a method for those accustomed to large and strong things, 
to fit them for the small and weak. The cloth you design to paint on, ought to be 
primed with a light grey ground for the large work, and with a dark and warm 
ground for the small ; so that having no other patterns, whether figures or landscape, 
than warm and strong ones, you may temper your colours accordingly, and get rid 
of your old custom. Herein a pallet of the same colour is also necessary, that the 
colours tempered on it may produce in painting, the same force or weakness. And 
to shew that this method is of greater moment than some may presently imagine, I 
shall relate what once happened to myself. 

A certain gentleman had his hall-ceiling lined with five cloths, primed with a pearl- 
colour ; and, being afterwards desirous of having something painted on them, pro- 
posed my doing it; whereupon I made designs to his liking, and had four cloths 
sent home to me (the middle one large and square, and three smaller round ones) 
but in lieu of the fifth (which was got rotten by dampness) a new one was sent to 
me, not primed with a light ground like the rest, but of a brown colour. After I had 
dead-coloured the work, and viewed it together, I perceived that the shades in the 
last cloth were much browner and warmer than in the others ; and though in finish- 
ing I endeavoured as much as possible to help it, and bring it like the rest, yet 
something remained in the shades of another nature, which some persons judged to 
be better than those of the other cloths, those especially who were implicitly addicted 
to the warm manner, without considering in general whether it was proper or not. 
Thus, I found that the ground of a cloth may often mislead us, and put us beside 
the mark either in nearness or distance; but knowing the reason of it, if it happen 
again the fault is our own. And thus we may insensibly, and without compulsion, 
pass from large things into the small, and from the small into the large. 

We shall further observe on what occasions the aforesaid means may be made use 
of to advantage. 

1. In painting a light landscape. 

2. In painting halls, rooms, 8cc. 

224 Of Lights and Shades. 

3. In night-pieces, apparitions, and candle lights ; and as well in little as in ful- 

For these three particular designs -we may prepare the grounds of the cloths thus. 
That for the landscape ought to be primed with pearl colour ; that for an apa tment, 
with umber ; that for apparitions or candle-light, with Cologns earth, or umber and 
black. The first, more or less bluish, according to the quantity of sky ; the second, 
somewhat brighter and more warm, according as you intend to exhibit either a com- 
mon light or a sun-shine ; and the third, according as it has little or much light, 
depth or approach, smallness or largeness ; yet the larger, the more black. We 
think those colours, besides the tints, very useful and necessary not without reason ; 
because they have affinity to the nature of the subjects ; the first, to the blue of the 
sky; the second, to the reflections ; and the third, to the shade. 

I have often made it a question, whether it were worth while to mention these 
particulars, because I am sensible, some may think them trifling ; as I willingly own 
they seem to be : but on better considerations of the matter, and how many things 
are neglected which either offer of themselves or seem trivial, though of absolute use, 
my suspicion abated ; with this consolation, that how minute soever my thoughts 
may be, I shall be satisfied, if they any ways tend to the advantage and improve- 
ment of art, and instruction in it. 

Wherefore, re-assuming the subject, I say, that the cloth may be prepared thus. 
The colours, being ground up stiff with fat oil, ought to be mixed very thin with tur- 
pentine, and the cloth painted over, with a soft tool, in this manner. The sky, blue, 
and the ground, grey or green, more or less dark as your ordonnance and design re- 
quire. Now, if it be asked, how we must proceed in case of rising objects, as trees, 
houses, or other things coming against the off-sea. r, and above the horizon, and 
which fill up a great part of it ? I answer, That my meaning is not to provide such 
paiuted cloths, without previously knowing what we are to paint upon them ; for 
we must first sketch our thoughts on paper, and then conclude how much or little 
sky or ground must be painted blue or green, yellow or black. In those grounds 
w r e have no occasion for fine and costly colours ; common ones will serve, if they 
have a good body, and cover well. For the blue take indigo and white ; for the 
ground umber and white, or lamp-black and light ochre; for architecture and other 
stone-work, umber, brown ochre, &c. The ground thus laid, and being dry, has 
three desirable qualities. 

1. It is fit for work, being even and dull ; wherefore the colours, how thin soever, 
take at first; which a smooth or glossy ground will not admit without much trouble. 

2. It is durable, by its relation to the tints and colours painted on it ; which hold 

Of Lights and Shades. 

tlieir perfect beauty and force ; which they cannot be, when the ground is of another 
colour or tint, such as white upon black, light blue on dark yellow, or red, &a in 
time appearing more and more through, though ever so fatly painted. 

3. It is expeditious for him who |has a ready hand and quick pencil, and desires 
to paint up his design at once, which otherwise cannot be done without dead- 

This method has still further advantages than some may perhaps imagine ; it is 
particularly useful in ceiling-pieces, not only in aerial representations, but also bass- 
reliefs of one colour, whether white, grey, violet, or yellowish. 

Judge now, whether the trouble of preparing such a cloth be not small when 
compared with the great advantage arising from it. 

As a proof of it, I have observed of the great Bartholct, that when he was to 
paint a portrait with a purple or black drapery, he laid in the drapery flat, with a 
single dark purple or black, without any folds; and, on finishing, only heightened 
and shaded it, and thus worked up the piece at once. 



This light ought to be ranked among the day-light, as taking its rise and go- 
vernment from thence. This, commonly called a chamber-light, we divide into 
three sorts. 

The first enters through doors, windows, and other openings, and proceeding 
from the air, thereby causes 

The second, which is occasioned by reflection as from a wall, ground, or other 

The third subsists in itself, as proceeding from a candle or torch. The lights 
have different natures. 

Those of the open air are clean on the light part of objects, and do not alter them 
more than in the open air, causing the light to be broad, and the shades dark. The 
second falls more or less pure on objects according to the colour and nature of the 
grounds and walls ; their shades being dim and disappearing, and only the deepest 
shades visible and strong ; the room in general, both above and below, being there- 
by lighted, as well by the force and effect of the wall within, as by the ground 
without. Of the ground-shades we shall say nothing here, as having, in another 
place, treated of them, and their force and diminution. 

vol. i. 2 G 

226 Of Lights and Shades. 

The candle light we have also, in a particular chapter, sufficiently shewed how 
to manage, as likewise sun-shine ; which la9t, we think, as we have often said, very 
improper to be represented in a room. 

Many have thought very improperly of those lights; taking, in a perverse man- 
ner, the liberty which Horace allows to poets and painters ; and pretending to help 
the defects of nature, do it in an extravagant manner, making no scruple to break 
down a whole wall of a room, to let a beautiful light on their objects, as strongly 
as in the open air. 

They even go such lengths, that, though they have doors and windows, they 
give every thing their proper ground-shades, except window frames, cross pieces, 
and piers ; as if a wall were not a solid body as well as a man, table, chair, or other 
furniture ; imagining they may do so, that nothing may obstruct the figures : but, 
in my opinion, it were better to take away the cause of such an evil, than to spoil 
the property of things, by representing it. 

In painting an apartment, we ought well to consider the architecture : to aid it, 
and give it a proper division, and shew a door for passage : as for the windows, 
whether many or few, it must appear by the objects, and by the ground-shades of the 
cross-pieces and piers ; and that plain in sun-shine, but dubious without it. 

And, in order to make this last point clear (which in this chapter we chiefly aim 
at) I shall, in the two examples in Plate XLVIII. plainly express my sentiments. 

The first exhibits two different lights falling in through two different windows ; 
the one proceeding from the clear air, and the other, by reason of a near building 
before the window, somewhat broke, little or no air being seen above that building; 
between the windows is a large pier, or blank wall. 

Mark those windows with the letters A and B, and the blank wall with C, and 
then observe, how the shade, which the pier C gives on the ground, is cut, on both 
sides, by the light falling in through the windows A and B, and how acute it ter- 
minates, and how the light A is weakened by that of B ; moreover, what a short 
touch of light A gives, when that of B goes far into the room ; as also that the figure 
a, receiving the light from A is dusky, and has a short ground-shade, and the other 
figure, contrarily, receiving its light from B, is lighter, and its light broader, and 
gives a longer ground-shade. Observe further, that the nearer the figures are to the 
light or window, the purer and more plain are their ground-shades; when, con- 
trarily, the column C, placed against the pier C, gives a double ground-shade, the 
greater overcoming the less. 

The second example shews the same things, according to the condition of the 
lights, which are altered and come in from behind. 

The third and fourth examples, in Plate XLIX. shew the same things in land- 


J-Sx J- 

t,~ J<> Zair^si 

f tj>-rii'/ 

Ex. 3 

, £.<£ Zarre/Jt cm' 

Of Lights and Shades. 227 

scape ; for the same observation prevails in both with respect to light and shade as 
to the colours in the open air and their alterations ; I have said enough of them in a 
proper chapter. 

I think it great heedlessness in many painters, who, in giving their within-door 
objects a side-light, do not mind, whether they stand on the near or off-side of the 
window letting in the light; nor consider, that the light coming in through a narrow 
opening, spreads, and by reason of interposing vapours, in proportion to the force 
of the light, there must needs fall a proportional weak or strong shade on the 

Consider the object of the ingenious Ponssin, in his piece of the death of the great 
general, Epammondas ; whereon no observation of light is neglected; all things 
have their natural effects, which make the piece look so charming. 

Tyros must not think it irksome to mind so many observations in matters of con- 
sequence; which when once well apprehended in their principles, nothing but 
carelessness will afterwards make them slight. Endeavour then to fix the prin- 
ciples and knowledge in your memories by the help of judgment, and all things will 
certainly have a natural and easy issue. 



J. hat we may not be thought to keep any thing back from the artist, which may 
be of service to him, I judged it necessary to subjoin this chapter to the lights, 
though we have so largely treated of their natures, qualities, forces, and effects. 

A drawing and outline, how fine soever, are not agreeable before they are shaded ; 
and when this is done as nature and art require, it exalts the former, and gives an 
additional lustre to nature ; for a sober light suits not with bustling figures, with 
respect to within-door representations, because it abates the elegance and art of the 
other. As in the murder of Cmar in the Se?iate-honse ; or the death of Cato. But, 
let me not be hereby supposed to overthrow my former assertion, that sun-shine is 
not proper within doors since, on such occasions as those, there must be found 
such a medium in the light, as there is in the colours between the more and less 
beautiful, and as we have shewed to be between sun-shine and common light. 

Again, this light would be very improper in a salutation of Elizabeth and Mary, 
or the story of Stratoirica; or that of the queen of Sheha : these require a more 
tender, soft, and sweet light, and therefore a common one. 

2g 2 

228 0/ Lights and Shades. 

If this be not observed, a good outline may be spoiled ; as when a shade should 
happen to fall on the rising parts, or a ground-shade pass over them. 

Were we to make a history, wherein both passions, the sedate and stirring, 
should meet, requiring consequently an opposition in the lights, we ought to place 
the acting figures forwards on the first ground, as having the predominancy, and to 
adapt the light to them as much as possible. 

Accordingly, a story now occurs to me, wherein the three principal passions 
must meet in one composition, I mean that of Ahasuerus, Esther, and Haman; 
Esther shews a supplicating and meek posture and countenance ; the king dis- 
covers wrath and passion ; and Haman, astonishment and fright. Now, in order 
to cast well the light on those figures, according to my apprehension, I would dis- 
pose Esther in the greatest light, somewhat in profile ; the king, in the strongest; 
I mean, where it falls most, and has its chief effect, and increase it by the force of 
colours ; but Haman I would place sitting on the other side of the table, in a dim 
light, the rather to screen him from the king's wrath : and, as it is a feast or ban- 
quet prepared by Esther, where every thing is royal and magnificent, I think the 
common light here the most proper ; because the sequel of the story, and the king's 
rage, are but accidental. — We shall conclude this book with the following 

Composition, or Picture of the Lights. 

Here, the beautiful and darting Aurora is dissipating the foggy vapours of the 
ghastly night by her agreeable day-break, that the most perfect productions of rich 
and liberal nature may appear in their true qualities, forms, colours, and full lustre ; 
she descends from on high, holding a clear lighting torch, and driving dark night 
into subterraneous hollows. 

The more radiant Phcebus, sitting in his chariot, is mounting out of Thetis' lap, 
gilding all things under the azure heavens, not excepting the snow-white lilies. 

The chaste Diana, with her sharp-pointed silver horns, is satisfied with what her 
brother imparts to the world, as serving not only to revive, but also to be a beacon 
to the paths of mortals. 

The hellish Megcera Tisipone, with her smoking torch, creating anxiety and 
fright, fretting at it, flies this irresistible light; inflaming all things in her way ; 
even tarnishing all beautiful objects and colours with her dark and nasty vapours. 

You see here, the bright morning by its pure rays surpassing all former light; 
but the sun, by his fiery force, gains the laurel, gilding all that his beams can touch ; 
whereby we perceive the weakness of the silver moon, not able to distinguish ob- 
jects, and make them apparent. 

Of Lights and SJiades. 229 

We exhibit here, at a moderate distance, on the right side of the piece, four round 
pedestals of equal magnitude, with their plinths and mouldings running towards 
the point of sight. 

On the first, as being the morning, is seen a bright star, giving a short ground 
shade, ending in a point. 

@n the second, appears the sun, in full lustre, giving a long and broad ground- 
shade, sharp and plain, like the object. 

The third has the moon's presence, which produces a like ground-shade. And, 

The fourth, whereon is a lighted torch, causes, by this light, a long and enlarging 






Here the God Pan sits playing his pipes, with a pipe resting on his arm ; and 
about him are three women, franticly dancing hand in hand : one of them is dressed 
in green, and on her head is a chaplet of herbs intermixed with field flowers ; ano- 
ther is in blue, adorned with a chaplet of bulrushes and white bell-flowers ; and the 
third is in black or dark raiment, wearing a chaplet of roots and mushrooms. These 
three figures represent trees, rivers, and grounds. The place opens an agreeable 
country, enriched with woods, rivers, and hills. 



'Tis a consta?it maxim, that 

Variety's the souVs rejirid delight, 

And the chief viand of her ivindorvd sight. 

Variety is the soul of mirth, sting of pleasure, and the sauce of life; it is so gra- 
tifying, that without it we think ourselves slaves ; and, by a constant return, we 
wish to live for ever : without it we covet death, because the soul, as pent up in a 
dungeon, calls for enlargement. But he is much out of the way, who hourly wants 
variety, since every excess is both ridiculous and hurtful, as well to the agent as 
the patient. He who proposes a livelihood from art, is not to please himself only; 
because his happiness or unhappiness depends not on himself, but others, according 

Of Landscapes. 231 

as his work please or displease; and, as every creature has a particular liking, and, 
when in company, they are not satisfied with one sort of food, but with a variety; 
so a judicious artist should strenuously endeavour to qualify himself for every per- 
son's taste, like an expert apothecary, who stores his shop with all proper medicines 
for the general good, and thereby gets money. Let this suffice to hint, that a land- 
scape painter must not be wedded to one choice, either too stirring or extravagant, 
or too reposed and melancholy ; because it would please but one set of men, and 
his advantage would therefore arise but from few : whereas, variety will allure both 
sorts, and his fame be the greater. 

I thought it proper to premise this, as an advice to many : let us now, ere we 
come to the essence of this branch of painting, consider, that a landscape is the 
most delightful object in the art, and has very powerful qualities, with respect to 
sight, when by a sweet harmony of colours, and elegant management, it diverts and 
pleases the eye. What can be more satisfactory than to travel the world without 
going out of doors ; and, in a moment, to journey out of Asia into Africa, and from 
thence back to America, even into the Ely sian fields, to view all the wonders, with- 
out danger or inconveniency from sun or frost? What is more acceptable than 
shady groves, open parks, clear waters, rocks, fountains, high mountains, and deep 
misty vallies? All these we can see at once ; and how relieving must the sight be 
to the most melancholy temper? 

These circumstances being so glorious, entertaining, and useful, let us consider 
what constitutes a fine landscape. 

It consists principally in an orderly disposition of lights against darkness; whence 
arises the good harmony, which insensibly deceives the sight, in such sort that, 
though it be a flat cloth, yet it exhibits a natural prospective opening, even nature 

Landscape requires two qualities to make it delightful. 

1. Disposition. 2. Colouring. 

The disposition is an artful bringing together of irregular objects, which never- 
theless seem not to be against nature, or impossible. 

The colouring is a conjunction of proper colours in the aforesaid objects, ac- 
cording to their situations and qualities, agreeing with the nature of the air in such 
manner, as to repose and please the eye. 

And yet all these qualities cannot alone produce a perfect landscape, unless 
a good choice precede ; which consists in joining together variety of objects, viz. 
woods with vistos, wherein the eye may lose itself; rocks, rivers, and water-falls, 
green fields, &c. delightful to the eye. Herein lies the stress of a landscape, and 
painting is very like nature, with respect to things inanimate ; not to mention many 

232 Of Landscapes. 

others, as ihe embellishments, which give it the utmost perfection. However, this va- 
riety consists not only in the difference or irregularity of the objects, as trees, hills, 
fountains, and the like, but in the diversity of each of them; for instance, bending 
and straight trees, large and small hills, wrought and plain fountains, cottages and 
palaces, green and russet lands, &c. The same diversity is to be observed in colour- 
ing, according to the seasons of the year; that lovers may not be cloyed by pro- 
ducing, with the cuckoo, always the same thing ; as stir and motion, crooked 
and mis-shapen bodies of trees, waving branches, barren grounds, blue mountains, 
or beasts, birds, huntings, and the like; or, contrarily, always repose and quiet- 
ness, straight stems, clipped trees, level grounds entirely green, standing water, 
and the same light, colour, and nature. 

We have formerly said, that a picture hung up, and viewed at a determinate dis- 
tance, appears as the life without-doors ; of which, the frame shews only the thick- 
ness of the sill wherein it is put, or wall, against which it hangs. The question is 
now, whether such a painted opening can be natural and deceiving without fixing a 
point of sight and an horizon equal with the eye of the spectator? and, whether it 
be the same, to place them higher or lower? And further, whether the thickness 
of the frame be sufficient to shew the thickness of the wall, without continuing it 
upon the cloth? I say positively, No, — and that such an opening cannot be na- 
tural, much less deceiving, if one of those requisites be wanting ; which I prove 
thus: — take a chair, and sit at the window, with your eye just, level with the sill, 
und then you will observe that the horizon, or greatest distance parting the sky and 
earth, will, as I may say, approach towards it and be parallel with your sight; and 
that therefore you can see nothing but sky r : then arise, and you will perceive the 
horizon also rise, and that your eye is also level with it, discovering here and there 
objects on the ground. Now, consider the insufficiency of your picture, when its 
point of sight does not agree with your eye, and how nature, joined to your 
imagined art, is perverted, your deceit made apparent, and your intentions spoiled. 
It is therefore evident, that the picture, in which the point of sight is placed, must 
determine your distance, and that the eye ought never to leave the horizon, but be 
always level with it. If the eye be lower than the point of sight, all the objects 
must needs seem to tumble forwards, and the fore-ground to sink. If you are above 
the point of sight, the fore-ground rises, and all the objects are tumbling backwards. 
How then can this seem natural and deceiving? Wherefore there is no other way, 
than to hang the picture in a certain place, and fix a distance whence it is to be 
viewed without any alteration. As for the frame, it is necssary to shew the thick- 
ness of it on the cloth, in order to know at once the distance from whence you 
ought to view it; because the angular rays are directed to the point of sight. 

Of Landscapes. 233 

I am not insensible that this position may seem strange to some, who will oltjeet, 
that they never observed any such thing in Houssin, Titian, Brit, or Francesco Mola, 
or other good masters: but the old saying shall plead tor me ; Example is better 
than precept. For tliey endeavour to follow the mistakes, but not the virtues of 
those excellent masters. I am sure, that had those great masters thought of these 
observations, they would not have rejected them. Do you want demonstration, that 
every good master approves of what I say, and follows it? Shew me but one pic- 
ture, drawing, or print of theirs, exhibiting an inward visto out of an hall or chamber, 
wherein they have forgotten to express the thickness of the framing or walls ; since, 
otherwise they must depart from the naturalness, and we would say, that instead of 
an off-distance, they had represented a picture or tapestry. I therefore conclude, 
that if nature requires this in a picture, it is still more necessary, when we would 
have the picture taken for nature itself, in order to deceive even masters. But 
some even think, if I arrive in the art, to their heights, 1 shall be satisfied. In the 
mean time, art despairs of attaining great lustre by further improvements. 

But, to re-assume our former position, my opinion is, that what has been said 
ought to be regarded, when we meet with any things in halls, chambers, galleries, 
and the like, whether in niches, above or in chimneys, or on other occasions : and 
the main point is, to place well the horizon according as the piece stands high or 
low. My usual practice was, to make the thickness of walls plainly appear in my 
paintings ; and would always have done it; but once painting, on a time, for a lover 
of rpiality, was obliged to alter it for his pleasure; on a surmise, I did it to save 
work, not for the good of it; affirming, that the painting was thereby docked, and 
thereby too much encumbered: but the child must have a name; he imagining that 
the alteration made the work larger. 

Here let it not be thought that my piece was wholly taken up with the compo- 
sition, and the thickness afterwards painted upon it; because that would be great 
folly. I first squared out the thickness, and then adapted my design thereto, as 
being more convenient than afterwards to paint the thickness over it, and thereby 
dock too much of the work. 

Now, to give the studious artist a right notion, as I think, how to compose a good 
landscape, after an easy manner, let him consider, 

1. The nature of his subject. 

2. What country he is to represent. 

3. What season of the year, what month, and what hour of the day. 

4. Whether the subject require sun, or moon-shine, clear or misty, rain, or windy 

Having fixed these points, let him proceed to seek proper materials, bringing 
vol. i. 2 H 

234 Of Landscapes. 

them together agreeable to his general design, and disposing the objects in their 
proper places, each according to its nature and quality. 

iNext, let him place the point of sight in the middle of the piece, higher or lower, 
as h would have less or more sky or ground, considering -whether the gro nil is 
to b a level or not, and thus to order the figures equal with the eye, to discover 
directly whether the painting be seen through a high window in a low ground, 
or f inn a low ground to a high ; for it is commonly known, that if things be seen 
from a height, the figures ought to be under the horizon, and when viewed from 
a low place, they most rise above the horizon. 

Having done this, let him choose a proper light, falling in either from before, be- 
hind, or aside, to light the object accordingly: and then to dispose the principal 
object (if possible, and the subject permit) in the best place, in the middle of the 
piece : at least from oft' the edges of it. 

Of divers passions, if the matter require it, I mean, if the landscape be nixed. 
with history, one ought to predominate, and surpass the rest in greatness, beauty, 
and elegance ; filling always the greatest part of the piece with it, whether by mean> 
of tree or buildings. The by-works must be suitable to it, the better to explain 
the matter. 

If the subject be a wood, it ought to be adorned with wood-gods, guides or terms, 
I tubs, seats for repose, wood-nymphs, and many other things proper to it. 

If a river, it may be treated in the same manner, with the addition of river-gods, 
naiades, or swimming water-nymphs, fishermen, swans, and other such ornaments. 

If a field be the chief object, it may be set off with shepherds and shepherdesses, 
cow-herds, bacchanals, and others. 

Rocks and caves require the same management ; with this caution, that the eye 
ken with he principal object only, without any regard to thfe bye works, than 
us aids and incidents; for in such conduct lies the beauty and goodness of a land- 

As to the ornaments of modern landscape, such as of the famous Everdiugcn, 
Pynakker, RuysdaaL, Jlouchcron. and others who follow the modern manner, they 
do not call for the aforesaid embellishments, as having other sunici< nt matter, viz. 
. carriers, waggons, and such daily rural occurences, which 
are. as proper to it as the antique; for the decorations alone, in my opinion, make a 
landscape either antique or modern; unless we exhibit modern and known places, 
where:;! the antique would be very improper, as Breugcl, Jirtl, and Huns Bol 
have done, without distinction between the lowest life, and what is better: for na- 
ture is in her objects now as she was a thousand years ago; woods, fields, moun- 
tain*, and waters, are always the same; and therefore nature is modern, that is, im- 

J%A? L - 

2. far-ntsAjm Jeu&o 

Of I.awhcnpr*. 235 

peiifect: but she is antique and perfect, when we judiciously adorn her with un- 
bonwaen ami magnificent buildings, tombs, and other remains oi' antiquity; \ 
in conjunction witli the ornaments abovementioned, compose an antique landscape. 
But v.'.k'.i a modern pn.spr- i Rhine is decked with antique figures 

stories, it must look ridiculous; since cottages, and civil and military architecture 
will evidently discover the prudent lolly of the master, though otherwise 
in both manners. 

chap. ii. 


J_jet us now proceed further, in considering the principal qualities and properties 
requisite in a fine landscape: these, in my opinion. Consist, 

1. In a good disposition of the irregular objects, as well with respect to their 
matter, shape, and form, as their colour. 

2. In the number and grouping them. 
.'5. In a good ordering of the light. 

By well disposing the irregular objects, we produce life and motion ; the dojects 
consist of crooked, straight, awry, high and low; and by the colours we effect tin 
same ; when one thing is faint and weak, another melting, this strong, that hard. 

The grouping consists in joining those irregular objects; as of two bodies on two 
different grounds, that on the fore-ground ought to be smaller than the other on the 
second ; thus, if a sitting figure come forward, a standing one must be placed behind 
it; and on the third ground, a decumbent figure ; on the fourth, a climbed one, and 
beyond it a standing figure again, &c. "Trees, rocks, buildings, cattle, and other 
things occurring in landscape, may be disposed in the same manner so far as con 
eerns the irregularity of objects; which, in their matter and colour, I shall shew in 
the following example. See Plate L. 

I suppose, then, in a piece, five grounds with the distance, of which the fourth is 
the largest. On the fore-ground I place a vase of dark porphyry, numbered 3. On 
the second ground, a fountain, numbered 4. On the third ground, a hedge, num- 
bered 2. On the fourth ground; a statue, numbered 5. And the fifth is a low off- 
scape, numbered 1. Thus much may suffice as to grounds going off behind each 
other ; the same disposition ought to be observed on a single or level ground. 

As for the light, its principal management lies in opposing brownness arid dark- 

2 h 2 

236 Of Landscapes, 

ness to middling and greater light : but when two lights are to set off each other, 
the colour must effect this: as for instance, when a lighted figure is to come off 
against a light distance, the former must certainly be of a darkish colour, as having 
no shade ; and then it will produce a good effect : for the chief management lies in 
placing a warm-coloured object against a light, faint, and weak distance ; contrarily, 
light and faint colours against dark and warm grounds ; the foremost and strongest 
object against the deepest lointain ; and the objects further off, against nearer parts 
of the offscape : and thus, light objects against dark, and the contrary. 

The artist also ought to observe, that two lights must never be above each other, 
unless one be visibly different from the other in force, either in colour or tint, lest 
one seem to run into the other ; which, at a distance, would be a preposterous union. 

Moreover, part of the distance should always be broken, and the eye, on one side 
or the other, kept nearer, either by means of a wood, rock, building, or other object. 
A part of the horizon also should always be seen ; or, for want of it, some level 
object, such as a fronting wall, colonade, or the like. This will produce satisfaction 
to the eye, and elegance in the piece. 

No one will deny, that unequal numbers are the most perfect ; according to the 
demonstration both of philosophers and mathematicians. This inequality I also ob- 
serve and follow in my disposition of figures, thus : 

First, 1 place one figure on the fore-grouud ; then, three on the second ; two on 
the third ; and four on the fourth ground ; and then again, one ; and so forth : and 
thus, as well on a single level ground as where they happen one behind another. 
These unequal numbers in the groups are, certainly, not of the least moment in land- 

As to the colour mentioned before, it is to be especially noted, that the colour 
which is predominant, and has the chief place in the piece, must no where else be 
seen than with little parts ; I mean, of less beauty, (juantity and dignity. 



It is usual for landscape-painters to have a particular inclination for one choice ; 
one affecting wild and desolate prospects ; another, reposed and soft ones ; and a 
ihird, northern or frigid views, sun and moon-shine, water-falls, downs, watry and 
^oody prospects ; and the reason is, because most people, by a strange impulse, 
T.c?rn rather to covet the gifts of nature than the heavenlv : which afford what is 

Of Landscapes. .C37 

wbole and most perfect : in a word, they seek only a pari, though all be to be got: 
this proceeds from youth and ignorance, wanting fundamental knowledge, and 
therefore not judging what is most beautiful and profitable, nay, what they them- 
selves are fit for. But it is most unaccountable, that many landscape painters are 
not able to embellish their own works : to which some may object, that as they have 
not made it their practice, so they are content with handling single prospects well, 
leaving any thing else to the owner's disposal. A sad story, that they cannot do 
their work without help ! whence it is evident, of what moment it is for a landscape- 
painter to embellish his own work, whether the design be his own or borrowed ; 
since certainly, if he be master of his art, he must also know what is most suitable 
in his picture ; not trifles, or figures to no purpose; but histories, fictions, or parables, 
taken from Scripture, Ovid, or iEsop ; ornaments which will enrich the work. But 
this is seldom done, because few have time to spare, or love reading. As for me, I 
would rather want prints and drawings than books. As a history-painter, I make 
use of books, and descriptions of landscapes and beasts : but were I a landscape- 
painter, I should provide books of history ; for, what should I be the better for ex- 
ercising one particular part, of which I am master, and neglecting others as neces- 
sary to be known? I need not learn what I already know: but it is impossible to 
get skill in things without inquiring into them. Have I time for perusing novels ; 
why not also for necessary things? am I curious to know the state of the war, or 
desirous of peace for the sake of art : of what advantage is the peace if I do not 
qualify myself to meet it? 

As there are few or no painters who have no particular manner, so few are quali- 
fied for embellishment, since every one strives to excel in something, and to get a 
name by a certain wonderfulness therein, either by beautiful colours, extravagant 
draperies, broad and sunny lights, or round and dusky ones; which often spoil a 
work instead of bettering it : these they cannot forbear (their chief talent lying in 
them), though they frequently have a contrary effect, when they are to adorn other 
men's works. We must also observe, that there are two sorts of by-ornaments ; the 
necessary, and the unnecessary. The necessary are such as appertain to the matter, 
to wit, immoveable and fixed ornaments. The unnecessary are the moveable ones, 
viz. men, beasts, birds, and the like ; which, with respect to landscapes, cannot be 
c onsidered as necessary, but only as tending to give the pictures life, that they may 
not pall but delight the eye. 

To be more plain in this point, Ave shall consider, what a painter ought to observe 
or shun in the by-ornaments. 

I say then, that it is very indecent to place a woman alone, resting near a naked 
statue ; much more, in the company of men, unless you would exhibit a woman. It 

238 Of Landscapes. 

is also improper that a woman, well dressed, should sit alone by an immodest way- 
side, or in a wood, or stand prattling with ordinary people. It is much more proper 
to make a man sitting, and a woman passing by, than the woman Bitting, and the man 
passing by, or holding discourse, unless he be inquiring the way. It is also much 
better, that a sitting man shew the way, than one who is passing along. If there be 
a company of men and women, let not the men be idle, and the women loaden ; and 
if a wo;::an be resting by herself, do not assign her a greater burthen than she can 
conveniently carry alone, whether bundles, trunks, or vessels. A woman of fashion 
.should never travel alone through woods or valleys, especially if youthful, without 
the company of, at least, a damsel or child. Shepherds and shepherdesses, hus- 
bandmen and women, suit well together, ^here there are no sheep, a shepherd or 
piper, or maids with chaplels of flowers, are improper; because such people are not 
sent into the field to prattle, but work ; it is better to inquire after the shepherd than 
the sheep. Country-people's children are seldom within doors in the summer time, 
but generally abroad in the field with their parents, looking for birds nests, gathering 
wood or flowers, digging holes, making garlands, and in other childish actions. In 
mad sacrifices, or country feasts and merriments, no people of fashion should appear, 
without good reason for so doing, or that they are spectators, and stand somewhat 
oft". Aged people, especially men, should not be seen ; because they take no delight 
in such recreations. 

It is against nature and reason to assign a dolesome place for mirth and feasting ; 
or, contrarily, one embellished with figures and fountains, unless the subject require 
it. By such distinctions as these we may know a good master. 

He is a happy painter who knows how to adjust bis by-ornaments to his land- 
scape, and this to them, thereby making both remarkable : but he deserves greater 
commendation if he govern all things by the landscape. The figures or by-works 
are certainly of no less moment than the landscape itself; yet he may be satisfied, if 
he continually endeavour to make the one as good as the other. Such an artist is 
much preferable to others ; for the frequent use of prints, or other men's works, is 
not the right method to become a master ; you rely too much on them : not that I 
disapprove of them, because they convey fine ideas, and stir up the mind (I must 
even acknowledge, that I should have been insufficient without their aid), but you 
must get truly sensible, what lengths you may go in the theft, not to fall into the 
common error, out of which it is difficult to extricate yourself. 

In treating of the immoveable by-ornaments, we must observe, that nothing is more 
displeasing in a landscape, than always to see houses behind, against the sky or dis- 
tance ; and, on the sides, nothing but trees and hills, or scarce so much as one stone 
upon another : this repetition must necessarily be disagreeable; wherefore it is ne 

Of Landscapes. 239 

wonder that those who are ignorant of architecture avoid it as much as possible. 
But it is surprising to me, that many landscape-painters will not be acquainted with 
that art ; even rather never desire to exhibit it (how beautiful soever), than to be at 
the trouble of learning it ; or of following the models of others, which are so plentiful, 
and made for such purposes ; a point so easily attainable, and giving a piece so great 
a decorum. I have been long studying the cause of it, and can find no other than 
a want of inclination and knowledge of its virtues and value : it is out of the way to 
think that landscapes consist only of trees, hills, and green fields, without houses 5 
or, if there be buildings, ruins or triumphal arches, that then it is no more a landscape, 
since no one will take a history in a landscape for a landscape, or a piece with ar- 
chitecture and some trees, for a landscape or history, but a prospect with buildings. 
A landscape, set off with a hundred small figures, will never pass for a figure-piece: 
but, without figures or houses, it is like a wilderness or forlorn country infected with 
the plague, and where consequently no houses are standing: it would indeed be a 
very proper Greenland view. 



.1 he tombs exhibited in landscapes require particular notice; as giving not only a 
good deeornni, hut also a probability to the places of their situation ; that they may 
not be contradictory to truth and time. 

The most sure method is, when you introduce such a piece of stone-work, first to 
cliiise a proper place for its standing, where it may be most conspicuous to passen- 

in 'order io draw their attention ; wherefore they are made more or less sump- 

OUS and elegant, according to the condition and dignity of the deceased, or those 

who set up. They are commonly placed in the fields near high 

roads ; or, ai the entrance of a shady grove, or else within it; y< t in such a manner 

as to be easily approached, ami seen by those who pass by. li' they be costly and 

adorned with figures and other earved work, they are usually fortified against 
Use. injuries of time ; some are crowned with arches, or else with small pediments 
. (I mouldings supported by columns; and topped with a. copper \ ase placed be- 
tween two children turning on pivots, and holding iron clappers, with which, when 

1 y the wind, they strike on the copper, and create great noise; their motion 
was occasioned by a hollowness in their backs: and this was done, they say, to 
drive away devils id evils spirits "who, as they imagined, continually haunted the 

240 Of Landscapes. 

graves of the (lend. Some of these tombs were encompassed with low close walls, 
to fence them against the north-wind. They were most times placed on raised 
ground or hillocks, especially in desolate countries ; and we need not question the 
goodness of their foundations, though we often see them in ruins or sunk down ; 
since nothing, though ever so strong, can resist eating time. It is not improba- 
ble, that about such places were benches for rest ; and the more to draw tin- 
people they sometimes made fountains near them. The ashes of the deceased 
were commonly deposited in a certain urn or box placed on the top of the 
tomb, or else in a niche near, elegantly carved, and inscribed with hieroglyphic 
letters or characters. 

Those graves or tombs were so adorned with emblems and figures, as always 
to make us sensible, whether they were sacred to a hero, philosopher, statesman', 
sylvan deity, or who else ; if we may credit the remains, and ancient writers. It 
would be too tedious to enumerate all the particulars touching these tombs ; and as 
those things serve only for by-ornaments to painters, I think what I have said is 
sufficient, with the addition of what concerns their materials : these were various, 
viz. porphyry jasper, all sorts of marble, red, black, and white ; also copper and 
other metals ; ami sometimes ordinary stone. We see often an altar near them, on 
which it was customary to offer to the memories of the deceased. 

Of Cottages, and other By-ornaments. 
Cottages and country-houses are usually low, having their greatest conveniency 
and extent below ; and as the inhabitants possess but few goods (no more than what 
will supply their necessities) their rooms are but few. These dwellings are plain 
and mean, mostly built with wood or common stone: they have neither order, 
disposition, or divison. They sometimes wattle them with a weaving of reeds 
and rushes, clayed over. The roofs are thatched, and not much windowed ; com- 
monly dark within, and smeared without with a light colour, red, white, or grey, 
that they may be seen at a great distance. These houses have often wells or 
water-troughs near them, or else fountains or cisterns hollowed out of a tree, or 
made of stone. The fountains are mean and artless ; but near the town, they are 
sumptuous, and magnificently adorned with statues and other ornaments. We 
also find vases or elegant pots with bass-reliefs, standing on high pedestals, above 
reach, to preserve them from damage. Sometimes they are a little decayed and 
broken, or ruined by time and weather ; as also by the barbarity of soldiers ; 
as may be perceived in the fragments of columns lying up and down in the 
roads, or near them ; likewise pieces of frizes with bass-reliefs, and beautiful 
cornices ; the remains whereof, and their basements,[are still standing. We see, 

Of Landscapes. 241 

also, about tho place, pieces of broken colosses ; some half within ground, others 
lying tumbled into a morass. And in the woods appear stone-lions and lion- 
esses, resting on pedestals, and spouting water out of their mouths. On band- 
rails they used autiently to place sphinxes, if their meanings did not allude to 
the secret of sciences ; for then they commonly supported columns, pyramids, 
and tombs. They used frequently, as it is still sometimes the custom, to raise 
heaps of stones bearing inscriptions and characters. They likewise set up posts 
for guides, or figures for the same use; especially in winding and cross ways; 
where we may often see terms at the ends of roads or lanes, to advertise tra- 
vellers of danger, in case a morass, water or other stoppage should cross the 
way. Whence the word (term) takes its origin, signifying bound or limit. Those 
terms are like a reversed pyramid, square; with a gaping head on top, gene- 
rally of copper or other metal ; in the mouth of which the wind by its play 
made a great noise. All these things have a fine decorum, and give a piece of 
uncommon grandeur, if well placed, and suitably adjusted in landscapes. To 
conclude this chapter, I advise the artist not to use these ornaments too pro- 
fusely ; nor repeat them without some diversity, because otherwise he will prove 
cloying, to his little honour or advantage. 



JLf any thing charm the sight, I think it is the beautiful green of trees. How 
do we long for the lovely spring ? Is any thing more refreshing to the eye than 
the first greens of that season ? Spirits and diversions seem then to revive in all 
creatures. If a real prospect have such effect, that of an artful and agreeable 
landscape has not much less, wherein the bright green and other delightful co- 
lours shine. 

But, though it is not probable, that a landscape paiuted entirely green should 
please more than one in foul and grey-green colours, yet we ought not to use 
verdigrease to produce a fine green ; since though it be most beautiful, yet is 
not the most pleasing to the eye ; and moreover, very fading and changing. 

It is nevertheless to be lamented, that men who pretend to great skill in paint- 
ing landscapes, entirely banish beautiful green out of their works, and introduce, 
in its place, black, yellow, and other such colours. 

It is true, that plants and herbs differ as well in their natures aud qualities as 

VOL. i. 2 I 

242 Of Landscapes. 

shapes and colours ; that some are of a beautiful green ; others, blue ; some yel- 
low or russet; others, grey; some of a fenny ; others, of a watery colour; never- 
theless art teaches us not to imitate the faded and mean, but what is most charm- 
ing and agreeable. In the diversity aforesaid we see the object and the mean, 
and the beautiful and most beautiful. 

If now it be said, that the artist ought to exhibit every thing that is beauti- 
ful, as well as the contrary, and that he only apes nature, I allow it ; but then 
he must be an imitator of well-formed nature, and elegantly paint her most per- 
fect parts.* 

But by my position, that beautiful green is best and most charming in a land- 
scape, let me not favour the perverse opinions of some, that colours cannot be 
too beautiful, either in history or landscape, though they exceeded nature itself 
(of this I have largely spoken in the chapter of the harmony and placing of co- 
lours) ; for, at that rate, how can one colour set off another ? What becomes of 
the harmony or conjunction of colours, when, as in music, high tones do not 
agree with the low ? How can gold be set off by gold ; or pearls, by pearls ? 
Were all things composed of those two precious bodies, richness would not be 
apparent. The proverb says, Tenucs ornant diademata cunce. That is, 

The gold of crowns may boast its native worth, 
But meaner objects bring its lustre forth. 

Many painters have erred in this particular; of which I shall give one instance. 
A certain artist had once painted a landscape, wherein the first and second grounds, 
and every thing belonging to them, appeared beautiful and natural ; but on the 
third ground all was very grey and foul : on this last ground he had placed a 
man in a beautiful ultramarine garment, as bright as if he had been on the fore- 
ground. He was told, that those two things were unnatural and opposites ; I mean 
a foul and muddy green and so beautiful a blue garment; which was moreover 
(as the man was walking in the sun) painted as bright and beautiful in the shade as 
in the light, though the light should have been more broken. But the main error 
lay, in breaking the green of the distance too much, and not at all bringing down 
the beautiful blue vestment, though at the same distance. This example may 
suffice to shew, that the parts ought not to be broken or fouled so suddenly, 

* This important, fundamental principle of the art cannot be too often repeated, 
nor too strongly imbibed; it would check more than half the daubing by which 
the present school of painting is disgraced. E. 

Of Landscapes. 243 

though we see it done by many, in order to make the foremost parts look beau- 
tiful and strong. Nature shews no such sudden alteration, nor clear weather 
such mistiness in sun-shine. 



JVIany painters find the leafing of trees a difficult task. Most of them in this 
point imitate the manner of this or that master, without consulting or studying the 
life; by which means, their leafing commonly becomes set and stiff, and always of 
one manner ; insomuch that we cannot distinguish, in their pictures, the elm from 
the willow, or the oak from the linden. 

Nature instructs us to know them from afar, by their different colours as 
well as by their growths and shapes ; wherefore, to proceed regularly and gain 
eminence, in this study, you ought exactly to observe the life, and the several 
sorts of green and leafing seen at a distance, whether they are close and massy, 
or thin leaved and branched, and whether they hang in clusters, or uniformly 
on their boughs. Mind nicely the difference of their colours in their several 
kinds, as well while growing, as in perfection and decay. Also the sizes of their 
bodies, short or long ; and whether they grow straight or crooked, in dry or watry 

Another difficult point, but which causes the greatest decorum, is the roundness 
or relief of the trees : a good method for effecting this is, to observe how large the 
spread of the tree is : suppose it is thirty or forty feet ; the upper roundness or 
near-side must have the strongest h t and shade ; diminishing gradually every five 
or six feet, and the extremities to melt into the sky, or other by-work, though the 
light should happen to fall into the piece from a-side ; for the more the light ap- 
proaches you, the stronger it touches : and if, on that occasion, you light and 
heighten the utmost edges, it can add nothing to the relief; because the light rounds 
off too suddenly ; and having once painted too strong, you cannot help it by glaz- 
ing, without muddling ; since it will always appear distinct from the other parts as 
■well in colour as neatness. 

There is also as great a difference between the bodies of trees as their leaves ; 
some are more beautiful and painter-like than others ; these again more straight and 
sound ; those differing in colour from others, kc. But a chief regard is, not to 
place ash or linden leaves on oaken bodies, nor those of the willow upon elm ; for 

2 i 1 

244 Of Landscapes. 

each stem must produce its own leaves ; though this conduct be not heeded by many. 
You ought also not to put young and beautiful leaves upon an old stem ; for the 
former is like setting a man's head on a monkey's carcase, and the latter like patch- 
ing a child's face upon an old and decayed man's body. 

We likewise often see, in common light landscapes, the leafing lie very sharp and 
edgy against the sky : whereas nature teaches, that even the leaves of the foremost 
trees unite with the sky on their extremities, and appear dull against it ; and, in 
the distance, still more dubious. 



X find nothing more disadvantageous and irksome to a painter, than to attach 
himself to one manner of representation : nature herself, and the following pre- 
cepts, will shew the error of it. 

First, with respect to the several places where the pictures are to be hung ; 
for I hope no one will argue, that a piece suits any place; and without a variety 
in the maner of a master, I cannot judge whether he be a true one, or how rich 
his thoughts are. 

Secondly, because the artist ought, in his ordonnances, to comply with the fancy 
of the proprietor, as far as reason and the rules of art and decorum permit. 

As to the first, common nature shews him the error. Do we not behold sunshine 
and fine weather with greater pleasure and attention after a storm ? And can it 
have a less effect on our senses in a picture? There is even no country so des- 
picable, but in less than nine miles distance it will exhibit a new prospect. How 
can it displease a painter sometimes to represent stormy weather, and then calm and 
delightful sun-shine? since the great unlikeliness causes variety, and this charms the 
eye. Now we see a shady grove, then a wilderness, next a reposed landscape, ^ce. 
Great water-falls, huge oaks, rocks, and the like objects, well handled, look also 
very pleasing in a room. Thus we might, as I may say, shew the world in epitome, 
and behold it at one view. 

If a painter always follow one manner, how oft^n will he expose his weakness 
and incapacity ? If it be sun-shine, what places will he find to suit all his pictures? 
Can he place them always in the sun, in order to shew their naturalness? But 
granting the work to be placed in such a light, another unhappiness will still attend 

Of Landscapes. 245 

it ; for the sun-light will fall into the picture from a-side, and the real sun-shine will 
come upon it fronting. 

From which premises it is apparent, that the common light is not only necessary, 
but always the most advantageous for chamber-pieces. 

A good painter ought to be prudent in the disposition and choice of his work, 
carefully observing the nature of the place, that his art may not disjoin, but aid the 
architecture ; making his landscapes (in order to look like nature) the further they 
are from the light of the room, so much lighter than those which are near it ; for 
otherwise they will look but like pictures. 

The second consideration (which is a great addition to ornament) respects the 
fellowing or matching the pictures well ; and though matching-pieces be very well 
known, yet many people entertain wrong notions about them. Their opinions, 
touching what is necessary in a fellowing picture, are various; but they generally 
agree, that it consists of an uniformity of conception and disposition of objects, 
colour, and light : to which some add, that if one landscape' be a flat country, the 
other ought to be the same ; if one be rocky, the other ought to be so too : in short, 
they must be so much alike, that, on coining together, the one seems to be an im- 
pression on the other; in both, equal sky, equal by-ornaments, equal filling; nay, 
so very equal, that there must not be a white speck in the one but the other must 
have it also. 

My belief is, that these niceties are owing to the wilfulness of artists, and 
that, in a matching-picture, nothing more is requisite than an equal point of 
sight and uniformity in the figures, when it must hang at a like height with the 
other: he who would join the rest of the particulars, seeks the fifth wheel on a 
waggon ; for why, after satisfying my curiosity in viewing a solitary wilderness, 
should I not enjoy the pleasure of a pleasant plain ? or a woody landscape in op- 
position to an agreeable water-view and a delightful prospect? I think the word 
fellows sufficiently implies, that they are two pictures of equal size, alike framed, 
receiving the same light, whether they hang above or next each other, mostly 
alike filled with work, and the figures of equal magnitude, and lessening towards 
the point of sight. And as for the thoughts or design, the more different they 
are, the more agreeable ; and the better shewing the richness of the master's 
fancy. In a word, a landscape suits best with a landscape, and architecture 
with architecture; and more is not, in my opinion, required in well-fellowing 
a picture. 

246 Of Landscapes. 



Although we have largely treated of the lights in the preceding book, yet I 
find myself obligated to say somewhat about it, with respect to landscapes; espe- 
cially front-lights in pieces which face windows: this point puzzles many painters, 
and not without cause, since it is a critical proof of their capacities. 

The chief reason of this is, that artists will not venture to undertake any thing 
that is unprecedented ; and no one has courage enough to set the example. They 
plead a main difficulty arising from hence ; namely, that, having a front-light, 
they cannot make shades on the ground or objects, but must find their effects 
going off", and force only by the darkest touches ; as if the driving clouds did 
not cause large ground-shades, which daily experience shews they do. In the 
next place, these men tacitly confess their ignorance of the force and harmony of 
colours, in choosing dark objects against light ones, and the contrary ; for, placing 
against a distance of green trees light coloured objects, such as white, rose-colour, 
light and strong yellow, and the like, you have no need of large shades. Would 
you make objects against a light-coloured building, let them be of dark colours ; 
or, a vase of a warm and brown colour, and against it a lighter object again ; 
and- against the offscape the foremost work is made strong by the diminution 
of the tints ; since all that goes back or retires becomes darker and more dusky ; 
as the shades, on the contrary, grow fainter and weaker the further they are 
off. Again, the grounds themselves can afford us great helps ; one may be light 
yellow, another green, another bluish, according to their qualities, as we shall 
further shew. 

As to the figures, they may have a sufficient and natural side-shade for setting 
them off"; for those, which are on the side of the piece, which most goes away 
from the light, will receive much more shade than the middle ones ; as also a 
ground-shade; because they go so much aside from the point of sight, and the 
further the more. 

We conceive also, that if any houses, or other upright works, running towards 
the point of sight were placed quite on the side, the one high and the other low, 
as here a grotto with a visto, there again something else with rusticated stone, 
or ballustrades, &c. and before them a water, along the extremity of which 
some vases or figures were standing on pedestals; these objects, I say, although 

F/<ua LI. 

< jZ,///y/.'*' i>* 

f. <,:/yi//A,7/n j.\ 

Of Landscapes. 247 

they had no perfect shade, yet, with respect to the light, would suffice ; and 
moreover, throw ground-shades against each other, which would give the whole 
work a great decorum and elegance. 

If it be objected, that this management would cause too great a force on the 
objects without the piece, and make it look empty in the middle, and the eye 
of course be drawn too much to the side; moreover, the two corners of the piece 
would then be too confining. — I answer, that if the ordonnance be disposed on 
such a ground as aforesaid, and the colours well chosen and ordered, the large 
light in the middle will be found the strongest, and the side-work more close and 
compact; and by ordering some pedastals with vases here and there against the 
Jarge and broad shades of the buildings, they would produce a fine effect. 

Many dare not introduce any ground-shades on the fore-ground, in such a 
fronting light, in order to break a little that large light, and make it go off; 
alledging, that the wall covers it, and thinking, that no more ground-shade can 
be seen on the ground than that of the wall : but these men are much mistaken ; 
they stand and behold the place, but do not consider what is built over their 
heads ; what high stories, and what large ground-shades those things ought to 
cause on the fore-ground going oil*, which they must imagine to be seen without 
doors about the opening of the piece; for, though it stand against a plain wall, yet 
it artfully represents an entire open panne! in the room, the light whereof falls di- 
rectly into it. 

To be the better understood in what I mean (by objects without the piece, or out- 
works), I add the following demonstration in Plate LI. 

In the part A place a point of sight, B, and draw from it two visual lines, C and 
D : now all that is without those lines is without the piece E, and called out-works, 
and may be supposed to represent a continued stone-work united and joined to the 
wall F, whereby shades and ground-shades fall on the ground; and all abo\e it 
being sky, you can, as is said, shew the height of the house or chimneys, by ground- 
shades falling into the picture. 

Here it may be asked, Whether the figures in the middle (which on this occa- 
sion make the principal light), ought not to be altogether, or always the major 
part of them in the shade? To which I answer, that the height or lowness of the 
house must govern in that point; for, if it be high, the ground-shade will be longer; 
if low-roofed, neither so long nor broad. 

This method, so far as it relates to fronting-pieces, is as well-founded as helpful, 
and, though never practised, it is however not to be rejected : but no body will 
lead the way without seeing the examples of others. And yet, every day, as we 
walk in sun-shine, we may make this observation in nature ; the sun shews us ex- 

248 Of Landscapes. 

amples enough. Moreover, it is natural in viewing tilings, rather to have the sun 
behind than in our faces ; and yet many represent the sun-light behind in the pic- 
lure, and not one does it fronting, as having no knowledge of the natures and effects 
of colours, nor of making lightness and darkness against proper grounds ; and, con- 
sequently, do not understand due harmony. Portrait and bass-relief painters dare 
venture to do it, and find so much advantage in it, as thereby best to deceive the 
eye, to their great honour. 

If the artist think he can apprehend me better by an example, I .will freely give 
him oue. See Plate LI. aforesaid. 

I place, then, on the right side of the piece, a row of houses running towards the 
point of sight. The first is square, with a step into the door-way ; the door is half 
hidden behind the frame of the piece, and ornamented with two pedestals with 
sphinxes. Two or three feet over the door is a small moulding which supports the 
roof. Near this building stands another, rising somewhat higher; the side-walling 
whereof is plain, and in front are a door and window. On each side of the entrance 
stands a pillar supporting the entablature, and thereon is a compass-spandrel. 
Next this are seen rails running up to another house, which is higher than the first, 
and lower than the second. Ten or twelve feet further off stands a high wall, 
running across the piece ; and in this wall, on the left side of the point of sight, is a 
large open gate-way, through which we see the offscape. Above this gate, on the 
right side, appears the tops of some large and high trees, which fill the sky. In the 
middle of the piece we exhibit an octangular stone, and, against the front-cant, a 
water-trough. This stone is about eight or ten feet high, and has, on top, a ball. 
On the left side, without the piece, stand some trees running towards the point of 

Now, observe the light (which, as has been intimated, fall into the piece fronting), 
and what ground-shades the objects give each other, and their course with respect 
to the sun's height. 

He now, who understands perspective, may easily guess what shades such ob- 
jects will give on the ground, how large and long they will be, on what they will 
fall across, and running towards the point of sight : likewise, how much this front- 
light will exceed a side one, in brightness as well as colours. All things parallel 
with the horizon are entirely lighted by the sun ; and contrarily, those which are 
parallel with the visual lines, are dark and without his reach, and so exactly limited, 
that the least prefecture, even of an inch or a straw's breadth, will receive light, as 
the example shews. 

As for the set-off, or harmony, no one will doubt whether it is less to be found 

Of Landscapes. 249 

in a fronting sun-shine than a side one; for, what is wanting,' in shade the colours 
and tint will doubly supply. 

This sort of light, how odd soever it may seem to those who never tried it, never- 
theless affords many beautiful and advantageous accidents very pleasing to the eye; 
but, I must observe, that the wider ami larger the piece is, the more charming it be- 
comes, than in a narrow and high one; because, the more the objects approach the 
point of sight, the less shade they give; and the further they go off sideways from it, 
the broader are the shades. 

I did not propose to say any thing further about the lights and their cpialities ; 
but in the course of writing something of moment concerning them still occurs to 
my thoughts, which I think worthy of observation, as being so uncommon, that I 
doubt whether any instance has been before given of it ; it is of the air or common 
light falling from on high through an opening into a round and close temple, or 
any place of retirement, rocky repository for the dead, &c. I suppose the opening 
as the design will permit. Now we have formerly shewed, that common light, 
contrary to that of the sun, illuminates the objects with widening rays; wherefore, 
all things, going away from the centre of the round temple, have longer and narrower 
ground-shades ; as the nearer the said centre, the shorter ; even so much, as in 
standing just under or upon that centre, they gave not any ground-shade at all, 
except under foot. On the contrary, it will be found, that such objects receive 
stronger light from on high than those which go ofF sideways, and the further they 
go off, still the less : yet we perceive the contrary in the reflections from the grounds. 
The more the objects approach the centre, the lighter they are in reflections, be 
the ground even white, or blue, red or yellow, light or dark. 

As for the course of the ground-shades of the objects, let them stand where they 
will on the aforesaid plan or ground, they flow from the centre or middle point di- 
rectly under the light. 



W e have formerly asserted, that the representations in a small compass are ne- 
cessary as a general rule for all choices ; which we shall exemplify in landscapes on 
almost the same basis as that of history ; to wit, that there is a difference between 
a landscape in a small compass, and the contrary; and that the former is more 
artful and troublesome than the latter, though having less circumstances : to which 
vol. i. 2 k 

250 Of Landscapes. 

we shall subjoin the requisites necessary to both, in order to make each in its kind 
equally good ; together with a remarkable touching the by-ornaments. 

As to landscapes in general, they are, as we have shewed, in the same case as 
histories ; to wit, that a large composition in a small compass carries more art, 
knowledge, and esteem than the contrary: because the objects require more work, 
and a more plain and distinct expression of their qualities; which in small object>, 
in a large compass, is not so nicely requisite ; for the nearer we approach the objects, 
the more sensible they become. As in histories, variety of thoughts and objects 
occur (for composing ordonnances, either small or large, with 2, 6, 20, 50, even 
100 figures) in palaces, halls, galleries, towns, villages, in the field and woods, 
plains, rocks, wildernesses, common roads, buildings, fountains, and statues, so- 
litary places, with tombs and grottoes, sea-ports, cascades or water-falls, in order 
naturally to exhibit therein all sorts of occurrences, the heroic and pastoral as well 
as the satyric, mournful, joyful, and merry. And though we could order all the 
aforesaid particulars into one piece, yet they cannot produce such an effect, in 
reference to art, as each singly will do it; it being certain, that things seen frou 
afar, as we have formerly observed, never satisfy curiosity so well as those whic. 
are near ; whereby they become to us more distinct, as well in their existence 
and form, as colour. We know, that the more the objects diminish and go off 
from us, the more they abate of their littleness, not only in their superficies, but 
also in their outlines and sways. A tree's body full of holes and knots appears 
smooth and even at a distance ; even the crooked will seem almost straight, and the 
whole leafing as one mass. 

It is true, that a large and concise landscape does not give general satisfaction ; 
yet we know that an assembly of few (but people of judgment) will never break 
up without doing business ; when, contrarily, a meeting of the vulgar seldom does 
any thing without confusion. It is the same in music with many voices ; they 
make a great noise, but never affect the senses like the single voice of a fine wo- 
man accompanied with the basso continuo; which entirely charms us, makes us sigh, 
even sometimes shed tears; and this is only caused 1. by the force which lies in a 
solo, supported by the bass. 2. By the distinctness of the words sweetly uttered ; 
and lastly, by their sense or passion : all which is not to be found in a great con- 
cert; because we cannot understand the words, much less the sense, but fix our 
attention on the general harmony only. It is true, a great performance of music 
will please common sense, but an artful solo is for people of judgment ; the former 
does in some measure affect the body, but the latter touches the soul, and leaves 
lasting impressions. 

The principal difference, between small and great landscapes lies in the point of 

Of Landscapes. 0.31 

sight, la the great, in a small compass, the horizon is commonly somewhat low, 
and in the small, in a large compass, high : in one is a high ground, in the other a 
valley; the one is a natural representation, ami the other looks like a map: the 
one keeps a good decorum, let it hang ever so high, and every thing looks upright-; 
in the other all things seem to be tumbling; and it appears well no longer than 
while on the easel. In a great landscape in a small compass all is seen plain and 
distinct ; at least one part, according as the choice is ; in the small in a large com- 
pass, we can perceive nothing perfectly but the general ; partly, because the great 
light creates a faintness, and partly, because the piece is viewed at a great distance, 
as hanging commonly above other paintings: it is even a certain maxim, that as 
pictures never hang below the eye, unless in an auction, so a landscape with a high 
horizon must always needs be false. I leave the contrary to one's judgment, how 
much more decorum and advantage it has, when of such an extent as to be placed 
high or low, even up to the ceiling, without fear of being hung below the eye, when 
the other must find its comfort under its set height, without hope of ever gaining 
its decorum, unless by coming casually on the easel again. 

After having shewn, that a great landscape in a small compass, with a low ho- 
rizon, can bear hanging above the eye, and look becoming ; and that a small one 
in a large compass, because of the high horizon, loses its true cjuality, to the de- 
triment of the painter — we conclude that there is no better method to be used with 
a landscape of large extent, in order to make it becoming and natural, than to set, as 
aforesaid, the horizon somewhat lower; since such pieces are always placed above, 
— I may say far above the eye. 

But here, perhaps, a difficulty may be started, namely, that if the horizon be set 
so low, the sky will overpower the principals of the picture: but in answer, let me 
ask, whether the sky is to be looked on as an useless patch? Does not the sky 
most adorn and invigorate a landscape, and make it look agreeable? Must we 
suppose the earth to excel the heavens in magnitude? Ay, but say they, there is 
nothing to be seen in the sky. But is a beautiful sky such a trifle, and so easily to 
be painted ? Is it not more artful to represent thin din ing clouds than a flat ground, 
here and there a hill or plash of water, grass, or herbs? A beautiful sky is a proof 
of a good master; but if it seem too large, we have a help for that: make the fore- 
ground somewhat large, and then a tree or two, thick or thin-leafed, will take 
up enough of the superfluity, and break any thing that is obstructing. Likewise 
a building may serve, either fronting, or in profile; or, instead of it, a pyramid or 
obelisk: these, not to be flung into the ofl'-scape, according to usual practice, but 
brought on the fore-ground great and strong, letting the tops of those objects 
advance high, in order to fill, and thereby, as 1 have said, in some measure here 

2 k 2 

252 Of Landscapes. 

and there to break the sky. But here it may be again objected, that such large 
trees would not look fine, because their leafing cannot be seen. But is the leafing 
of a tree of more value than the top of a beautiful building, pyramid, or any such 
uncommon object? Must these give place and be left out for the sake of a tree? 
Would it not look wonderful, and be a great pity, that one in a hundred should 
lose its leafing ? Let one, two, or more boughs shoot forth ; there are enough without 
them. I say, then, that by this means the sky will be sufficiently filled, and the 
difficulty removed. And now the sky is moderated, and the greatest force lies 
in the landscape and by-ornaments ; the fore-ground is elegantly embellished, the 
oft-scape broad and deep, with an extent equal to my wish ; and the horizon such, 
as I need not fear the tumbling of the objects. 

When I speak of placing forwards great trees, elevated buildings, pyramids, 
and large figures for by-ornaments, some may possibly say — that then the ground 
goes down behind, and rises forwards ; since they cannot relish any thing they are 
not used to, and which requires the objects to be somewhat more finished and 
larger than in their common way : but although I have thus shewed the preference 
of one manner of painting before the other, yet I do not prescribe it as a law to be 
always followed. My design is only to illustrate what is fine in the one above the 



JL think this point to be of moment enough to be considered wtth attention; the 
rather, since some painters often happen to see different management with respect 
to the rules for painting halls, parlours, &c. and therefore cannot resolve on what 
is most suitable and advantageous for those apartments ; and when they are to per- 
form something therein, so many difficulties arise, and their opinions so much vary, 
that they are at a stand whether they shall represent a picture, or a painting in the 
manner of tapestry, or nature itself. 

As to the first sort, we must be sensible, that the pictures being all of a size, and 
placed orderly, will be taken by the knowing for abstracted paintings, having no 
relation to the room ; according to the notions of those, who, being masters of a 
good collection, are indifferent where their pictures hang, whether against bare 
walls or hangings. As to the second sort, it is certain that paintings made in the 
manner of tapestries, will never be taken for real tapestries, be their borders ever so 

Of Landscapes. 253 

beautiful and elegant; and therefore have not the effect which the master purposes. 
The third sort, viz. to represent nature, is certainly the best: for, what can be want- 
ing, when the work is natural, artful, and proper to the place? 

A representation of tapestry is a lame picture : and a picture not agreeing with 
nature and the place is also deficient ; wherefore, a master who paints such is un- 
pardonable ; because, instead of adorning the room and preserving its architectonic 
order, he at once spoils both. 

I was once asked, whether any certain rules, besides the light and point of 
sight, were necessary for hall-painting. I answered, that the architecture ought 
to be observed throughout, as far as concerned the compartition and ornaments ; 
and that, whether painted or real, they must correspond with the door, mantle- 
piece, and alcove, and the whole work takes its proportion from an order, that it 
may look proper, and make up one compact body. Now, if a wall were to be 
covered with a single picture, it must be handled in the maimer of a hanging: but 
a picture is somewhat more brittle than a tapestry, and sooner damaged by hang- 
ing so low. Chairs must not be set against it ; if it get hurts or dents, they are 
not easily repaired: a surbase is much better; and besides, the wall is sometimes 
so long, that it cannot well be seen at one view. Wherefore, when the distance 
js too small, it is better to divide the wall, and to use more than one point of sight. 

If now there be a door in the middle, or on each side, they ought to be left free, 
though they are without mouldings, and even with the cloth ; for the room must have 
at least one passage; but not painted over, according to the practice of some, with 
trees, hills, or stone-work, as if it were not there: a very common error, and which 
no master will justify, unless we have a greater eye to profit than the general ele- 
gance of the work. Wherefore, it is more adviseable to enrich the door or doors 
with fine mouldings or ornaments. If the door happen to come in the middle, a 
beautiful frontispiece, adorned with carving, will look magnificent: this, in order to 
save building-charges, might also be represented on cloth; yet some artists who are 
not used to it, will not easily be induced to undertake it, but rather so much more 
landscape; though, on due consideration, and for the sake of decorum and natural- 
ness, they had better call in the assistance of another hand for their help. When 
now there happens to be a door, but not in the middle, it will be proper, for obtain- 
ing regularity, to order also one on the other side ; unless it be even with the wall, 
and the moulding of the surbase run across it; in which case, you may make some- 
thing or other on its upper part, suiting with the landscape, such as a stone with bass 
relief, either distant or near. I say, you may do so ; but for my part, I should not 
much like it : wherefore, my opinion is, that two doors are much better than none ; 
and though you might nevertheless incline to the last proposal, in order thus to have 

'J54- Of Landscapes. 

a larger piece, yet it is inconsistent, since the ceiling must have its support according 
to its compartment. Under each summer ought to be something, either a pilaster or 
term, or else the piece must have a circular head. But rooms are seldom so ordered, 
perhaps, because some men love to engross all the gain to themselves, exclusive of 
the assistance of others ; and were some permitted to do as they please, they would 
paint over every thing with flowers, fruit, or history ; an architecture-painter every 
where mouldings. They may even in time go such lengths, that could the floor be 
painted as well as the ceiling, we should see in every stone, either a flower-pot, visto, 
or a history, as sometimes we see it in iron chests. 

I say, then, that an artist, though the whole work be undertaken by him only, must 
not introduce more of his particular branch into it, than reason and decorum require; 
taking the assistance of a friend in such parts, if there be any as he has not studied ; 
for variety refreshes the eye. I think in a hall or room, with one sort of pictures, 
like a shop wherein are sold but one sort of goods. To give an instance, let us sup- 
pose a room, with a side-wall; thirty-feet long, divided into three pannels, aud the 
surbase round the room and the pilasters between the pannels, to be either 
of painting or wood, as I find it proper ; and over the chimney I propose apiece with 
figures. I, though a landscape-painter, undertake the whole work ; but, not being- 
able to manage the chimney-piece, desire the assistance of a figure-painter; because 
a generous painter, if he expect praise and honour, must not so much regard his gain 
as the decorum of the room ; a cloth of five or six feet, more or less, in such a grand 
undertaking, is but a trifle : let another hand get something by it, if it tend but to 
the ornament of the work. I order a figure-piece over the chimney, because it is the 
principal place of the room. For, what business can a landscape have there, the 
horizon whereof ought to be without, nay, much lower than the picture? Wherefore, 
in so principal a place nothing would be seen but sky. 

We are very sensible, that if in such a room we represent nature, we cannot in- 
troduce into one pannel, a morning into the second, a mid-day, and into the third, an 
evening, nor use various countries ; all must have one and the same air. We grant, 
that were the room comparted into four pannels, we could exhibit the four cardinal 
points, or the four seasons, provided each piece had a particular point of sight. 

As for the difficulty of the left and right light, to which the side-pieces must needs 
be subject, and the light falling on the wall fronting, from the windows, we have suf- 
ficiently spoken of it in the book of lights and shades. 

And now, if throughout we see a continued or natural landscape, the air alike, 
aud the leafing of the trees running from one into the other, when they are extensive 
enough, I imagine the painting must look well, and nature and art be fully satisfied. 
If I am not followed by every body, I am sufficiently honoured by doing justice to 
art and the curious. 

Of Landscapes, 255 



Aftkr having treated of Roman painting with landscape, I think this the fittest 
place to speak of ornamental painting without-doors. This point is very useful for 
two reasons; first; because hy certain paintings, adapted to places, we discover what 
sort of places they are, and what uses put to. Secondly, because it will he of ser- 
vice to artists frequently concerned in painting vistos, foliage, and other things with- 
out-doors, in leading them to further thoughts. 

I think it most proper to ornament summer-houses, (which are at the ends of walks, 
and usually benched) with grottoes, set off with figures and fountains; but shallow 
and side summer-houses look best with bass reliefs of a darkish colour. In houses 
of pleasure, for drinking, talk, or other amusements, suit grottoes, fountains, figures, 
urns, and vases. The ends of galleries become architectonic views, and the piers 
between the windows, niches with figures and bass reliefs, according to the thick- 
ness of the wall. In gateways, having rooms on each side, figures and bass reliefs 
are proper; as also fine architecture, set off with terms and other such things: yet 
on the sides and sofitas of windows ought to be foliage only. 

But, to return to the summer-house painting, we must consider, that as the kinds 
are various, so there suit to each particular representations as well in design as co- 
lours, according to the different lights. 

If the building be square, and have the opening in the middle, and the painting ex- 
hibit a bass relief, the light ought to be fronting; but if it be close-roofed, the light 
must come more from below. Again, if this building be deep, or the opening which 
gives it light, far from the wall, it ought to be lighted mostly from the reflection of 
the ground ; yet, if the opening be wide, the light may proceed somewhat from the 
side: but contrarily, when the summer-house is shallow, or the opening near, and 
one part of the painting is in the light, and the other in shade, its own natural reflec- 
tion must be seen in the shady part, that the work may look like a real carved bass 
relief: and, because no tenderness or pleasantness can be used in it, as being in shade, 
I think the parts there ought to be handled somewhat more large and strong; I mean, 
v\ith few littlenesses, in order to make them come out* and for preventing confusion 
that at a further distance the work may look becoming. — Thus much as to light. 

The colours in this case, if well chosen and put together, add no small lustre; o 
these, I think the three following sorts the most proper; namely, free-stone, blue-stone 
and white marble, by reason of the greens of the building, which cover it, and con, 

256 Of Landscapes. 

monly shade the painting, and impart to it more or less of their colour ; which, how- 
ever, looks lovely and sweet, especially upon the white. The two others, blue and 
free stone, may be used for by-works ; since purple, violet, or red, cannot have here 
a proper place, by reason of the discordant green producing an inharmonious mix- 
ture. But, if a clean light fall on the painting without being shaded, then the three 
last-named colours appear well, as does also a flesh-colour, and have with the green 
a good effect, as being by means of it improved : and the green thereby becomes 
beautiful and lively ; especially when placed between blue stone ornaments, which 
every where unite with the green, and keep together. But in this management let 
me be understood to suppose the summer-house to be wide; where what has been 
said is, on each side, next the opening without, painted on boards, giviug little or no 

In the painting ought also be considered its shape, whether circular, square, oct- 
angular, oval, or any other, which will best suit there. 

As for the subjects or designs, they must be governed by the situation of the place. 
Flowers are sacred to Flora; the spring, to Venus; fruits, to Pomona; vines, to 
Bacchus; herbs, to JEsculapius ; corn, to Ceres; music, to Apollo, who is also the 
parent of the seasons ; and fruitfulness to Diana. From these heads may be drawn 
abundance of matter for the ornament of summer-houses. 

Now, to be more plain in what I have before asserted, I shall exhibit two ex- 

For the one, I place Zephyrus and Flora in the middle of a square or round pic- 
ture, as occasion requires ; these are both seen fronting, mutually embracing in a 
lovely manner. He, sitting on her right side, has his left arm about her neck, with 
her right hand holding her's, which rests on his knee, and she speaking to him very 
friendly and lovingly, almost mouth to mouth. Her head inclines over the right 
shoulder. With her left hand she is taking up a wreath out of a basket of flowers. 
Her lap sways to the left, and his to the right ; and between them are sitting one or 
two Cupids twisting a garland about a flaming torch. He is almost naked and winged, 
having a trumpet lying by him. She is airily and finely dressed. 

The other example consists of three figures, and exhibits Flora on the right side, 
Pomona on the left, and Apollo in the middle, touching his lyre, and sitting some- 
what above the two others. Flora has a cornucopia full of flowers, and Pomona's 
is filled with fruits, and she holding a pruning-knife. Apollo sits fronting. Flora 
looks forward, with a finger on her mouth: and Pomona, as in a surprise, tosses 
her head backwards and sideways. These goddesses sit in profile against each 
other. The by-ornaments round about consist of children, or Cupids. 

Such designs as these, especially the former, are most proper in flower-gardens; 

Of Landscapes. !2.')7 

but where there are most fruits, Pomona take place. Here you must observe, that 
I ordered these two compositions for bass reliefs, somewhat more than half rising, 
and lighted fronting; but when the lights come from a-side, they ought to be very 
faint, or little relieved ; as we shall further illustrate in the book of statuary, treat- 
ing of the three sorts of bass reliefs. 

In flower-gardens suit best distant vistos, or groves ; contrarily, in walks with 
trees the ornaments should be rivers, sea-havens with hills, buildings, rocks, and 
such like ; as they are not shaded by trees, but receive a pure and open light. Yet 
in summer-houses and places for rest, which are somewhat shaded by the greens, 
vistos are not proper, but rather bass reliefs, consisting of one, two, or three grounds. 

On the court-yard walls, between the house and garden, suit also bass reliefs of 
one or other of the coloured stones aforesaid ; likewise terms, urns, and vases with 
greens, in case no natural ones be there ; or else fountains, with their water-falls. 
Against a green hedge or wall suit well circular hollows, with busts in them, if also 
thereabout stand no natural ones. These busts may be painted of white or light red 
marble, or other light coloured stone. 

The places before-mentioned are the principal and most common, but seldom hap- 
pen to be together ; yet if they should, the methods aforesaid will be of use, and 
you may enrich your thoughts by their means, since they are laid down as well for 
hints as examples : and if you also consult the fine designs of le Potre, you will 
never be at a stand. But the better to aid the conceptions of a young master, I 
willingly subjoin another composition of my own invention, as follows : 

I place Venus in the middle of the piece sitting between Pomona and Flora; this 
latter stands on her right side, crowning her with a chaplet of flowers, and Pomona 
on her left offers her a branch of peaches, which Venus receives with her 
left hand, who, sitting high and almost straight, maintains a fine air and charm- 
ing deportment ; and thus by her triplicity affording an agreeable harmony of beauty, 
smell, and taste (for here beauty implies sight) ; and, if the place be higher than broad, 
you may join Apollo to their company, somewhat off and fainter, sitting playing on a 
cloud : and thus you may, in the most proper manner, exhibit thejive senses. However, 
Apollo is not so absolutely necessary here, since Venus, or Beauty, also impbes har- 
mony ; but I bring in Pomona, because fruits and flowers generally go together ; for 
flowers grow and appear all the year round, as well as the fruits in summer and au- 
tumn. There are also fruits, which blossom at the same time as the flowers do ; to 
wit, peaches, apricots, almonds, &c. 

In a physical and kitchen-garden I would place Aesculapius, the son of Apollo, god 
of physic, as the principal of the piece, and to whom the garden is sacred, standing 
in the middle between Apollo and Diana; the one with h is quiver at his back sits on 

vol. i. 2 L 

258 Of Landscapes. 

his right hand, or near him, holding a sceptre topped with a sun, or else a flaming 
torch ; and the other, on his left, adorned with a moon, either on her head or in her 
hand, and equipped with her how and arrows. JEsculapius holds a staff twined with 
a serpent. 

The moon or earth causes the seed to rot, which Apollo, or the sun, hy his warm- 
in 0- and searching influence causes to rise. As to physical herbs three virtues are 
ascribed to them ; wanning aud cooling, and a mixture of both : these may be op- 
positely represented by the aforesaid three persons ; since by JEsculapius, with his 
staff twined with a serpent, is understood Prudence, in moderating one herb by an- 
other, and by art to make them work their effect. 

Haviu 0- thus largely treated this point, I shall confirm it by some figural examples 
respecting what has been before said, iu order to shew what sort of paintings and or- 
naments are most proper in such places where we usually represent any thing, and 
which must govern a careful master, in order to make his designs conformable there- 
to. Observe then, beginning with the first sketch, what I shall further say. 

1. If the proprietor be desirous of having the place painted all round, what sort 
will be the most proper — colours or bass relief. 

2. What obstructions may be there, to hiuder the naturalness of the work in some 

3. At what distance it ought to be seen, either from without or within, since it 
must be executed boldly, or neat accordingly. 

4. Whether the painting is to remain there constantly, winter and summer. 

You see then, in the first example of Plate LII. a place inclosed by two side walls, 
at the end of which is a summer-house equal to the whole breadth ; the entrance into 
it is in the middle, and on each side is an opening, through which the representations 
of A and B, the one on the right aud the other on the left, receive their light ; as the 
middle piece C has it fronting. Over the summer-house and wall appear the tops 
of the hind-buildings D. Now the question is, What subject is proper for C, a visto 
a bass relief? A green prospect, such as a woody country, or flower-garden, would 
have no good effect in this green summer-house, when seen from without, where it 
ought to be viewed ; because a mixture of green with green affords neither variety 
nor delight. A sea haven, or a court, adorned with statues, fountains, cascades, and 
such like elegancies, would appear exceedingly fine, viewed from within (for those 
colours look well among the green), but seen at its proper distance without, they 
will be found to be false aud contrary to nature, by reason of the tops of the houses 
D, which, being behind, and rising above them, discover a general stoppage: whence 
it follows, that nothing is more proper for the middle piece than a bass-relief. 

Let us now consider what is best for the two side-pieces seen from within ; the 
one, as said, receiving its light from the left, and the other from the right. A ba?<s 


c, . ae M<zw 


£. t/& HarreJje mi 

Of Landscapes, 


relief cannot, in my opinion, be decorous there, because the eye must not be so closely 
confined. They ought to be vistos, as not having the inconvenience which attends 
the middle piece to hinder their naturalness: the summer-house being- roofed in, the 
light therefore falls more advantageous on these two places than the middle one, as 
being without the glare of it: wherefore vistos must be best there; and even the 
fainter and bluer the better, as before intimated. A haven with shipping, a court 
with fountains, islands with hills, a street-view of fine buildings, temples, and galleries, 
together with a blue off-scape, &c. These are very delightful objects, and produce, 
between the greens, a variety and decorum : now, we ought to observe that the two 
pieces, A and B, though they receive their light from the place, yet, if we please, may 
be lighted otherwise; because they are without-door prospects, having no communi- 
cation with this within-door place, as the bass relief has, which is confined to it. 
Thus much as to that side; the same observations are proper for the sides E and F. 

The second example, in Plate LII. aforesaid, exhibits a garden with parterres, also 
walled in. In the middle is a gate of letticed work ; and, on each side, a shallow let- 
ticed seat covered over with greens, noted A and B. In the back of each seat is 
a circular representation; and over them appear the tops of trees, as of a large or- 
chard, marked C. Now let us consider what subjects will be most proper for 
the seat A and B. First, then, observe the distance whence the work is to be 
seen, which is from without, on the near-side of the parterres. Here, as in the pre- 
ceding example, vistos are not proper; and, because the .place is so full of green, 
more green would not look well: wherefore, half raised bass-reliefs woidd be best. 
As for the colour, we have before prescribed it. The sides may also be adorned 
as before in the last example, observing what objects rise behind and above them. 
Here, on one side, are houses ; and on the other, a green wall. 

Behold now a third sketch in Plate LIII. discovering a walk with trees; at the 
end of which stands the painted object A. Herein you have great liberty, and may 
use your pleasure ; since the design stands free from any obstruction. This only 
is to be noted in it, that, because it is a long walk, and, in nature itself we are of- 
tentimes tired with travelling such an one, we have no occasion to make it longer 
by perspective and other views, but rather stop the walker by a fine prospect, and 
invite him to a little contemplation and rest, that he may afterwards the better "O 
forward: wherefore, we here suppose a beautiful imagery, fountain-like, of white 
marble, placed in a grotto or niche arched with green, and therein painted, in full 
proportion, and with all strength, Cephalus and Aurora, Zephyrus, and Flora, or 
Venus and Adonis, and such like : or, you may represent there, in a rock, having 
several holes discovering the sky, Cadmus killing the dragon; or, a Diana with her 
nymphs; or a term or faunus, accompanied by bacchanals or satyrs, with their in- 
truments, some of which spout water; or else you may exhibit a sleeping Silensus, 

2 L 2 

2G0 Of Landscapes. 

with the nymph Eglc, squeezing mulberries on his face. All these are proper sub- 
jects for the place, and suitable to the occasion. 

You may also paint some terms on boards cut away, and place them against a 
green wall on both sides of the niches, windows, or circular hollows ; wherein may 
be set busts or casks, as you see in the second example, of such colours as be- 
fore mentioned, and which appear lovely among the green : these terms may repre- 
sent bacchanals, satyrs, gods, and goddesses, some naked and others dressed, ac- 
cording to the season and place, 



JL hat I may conceal nothing from the artists, but as much as possible rouze and 
enrich their genius, I have pitched on this subject for the ornament of landscapes : 
and, though it be common, yet I question whether it was ever treated in such a man- 
ner. I divide it into three subjects. 

The first is, Venus's making love to him. 

The second, his taking leave of her, to go a hunting, or rather to be killed. And, 

The third, Venus finding him dead. 

The fable is this: — Venus was, according to the poets, very much enamoured 
with the youth Adonis, notwithstanding his coldness and insensibility : and yet he 
refrained not from kissing and caressing her for a season ; which much incensed 
Mars, and raised his jealousy and rage, as often as he saw the youth in her lap. 

The first Picture. 
The place opens a pleasant and agreeable country, stored with every thing that 
can delight the eye, woods, hills, valleys, rivers, and stone-work, except houses 
and temples. I set the point of sight in the middle of the piece. Between it and 
the left side, on a hillock, I place the goddess and her spark, attended by the 
three Graces, who are to adorn her : one of them is twisting a wreath of flowers, 
another is crowning her with a chaplet of them, and the third is bringing a basket 
of fruit. Some Cupids are toying about her ; one especially is sitting at her feet, 
blowing Adonis's horn — at whom he smiles ; when Venus, with her arm about his 
neck, with her hand presses his against her breast, or kisses it. Behind the afore- 
said hillock, against the distance, I place some thick-leafed trees ; the highest in 
the middle of the piece, and those to the left somewhat lower and thinner. Behind 

Of Landscapes. 26' 1 

iliem we discover the remains of a colonade, rising ami appearing- half behind the 
hillock, and running towards the point of sight. On the same side forwards 1 
set a cross low wall, which the hillock steins. Against this wall, which is hut three 
feet and a half in rise, I place a water-god sitting asleep by his vase, and encom- 
passed with greens : and, in the corner, against the frame of the piece, I place a large 
willow tree, or one and a half : and thus half the piece is filled. On the right 
side forwards I plant a knobby mossy body of a tree, about six or seven feet high ; 
and, close behind it, a large and beautiful one, fully leafed. Somewhat beyond ap- 
pears a high square pedestal, whereon stands a large and elegant vase. These 
objects are in a line running towards the point of sight, making a way between it 
and the hillock, which is wide forwards, and diminishing at the end of the fore- 
ground, where the second begins, and runs out into an open field; whence to the 
horizon are seen some faint, hills. 

Let us now come forward again. In the right side corner Envy kindles the 
fire of war ; she is flying with a broken stinking pitch-torch in her hand, and her 
lead beset with twining serpents, secretly shewing Mais the two lovers. And now 
we see the devouring god of war on his belly, with one leg over a stone, lurkina; 
behind the pedestal, and staring earnestly between it and the green of the trees at 
the cause of his jealousy ; his spear and shield lie at his feet. 

I once saw a print after Julio Romano, wherein he has placed Mars in the dis- 
tance, pursuing A donis sword in hand; which I think too obscure and far-fetched. 
The sense may be tolerable; yet it is against the fable: for Ovid does not mention 
that Adonis was killed by Mars with a sword, but by a wild boar, through his insti- 

In the mean time, I doubt not but this my sketch and disposition will seem strange : 
nevertheless, if well executed, it will certainly appear fine with thepedestal, low wall, 
and colonade ; since such things create great decorum and variety in a landscape! 

The light, I assign, is bright sun-shine. 

My intention here is, to represent the month of May, or the spring, when every 
thing is coming forth and blossoming; though lam very sensible that the green of 
the trees, by the diversity of colour, is, in the summer, more painter-like ; however, 
this must not be like a summer ; besides, the island of Cyprus is not like Holland, 
or other cold countries, where the greens come up late; for otherwise, I should not' 
introduce a basket of fruit. 

Now, if it be asked, because I still set on the large pedestal a vase, and that di- 
rectly against the hillock, where Venus and Adonis are with the Graces, whether this 
would not throw a very large ground-shade over those figures ? I say it would not ; 
because I assign the sun a meridian altitude. Moreover, I do not set the pedestal 

262 Of Landscapes. 

so near the hillock as to be any obstacle to the figures. The foremost tree, because 
it rises so high, can also as little prejudice them, its ground-shade passing by them, 
over the willow in the corner, or at least a part of it ; which makes the colonade, 
against which it spreads, fall back, though the trees behind the hillock can sufficiently 
effect the same ; since I make them either dark green, or else in shade ; and the little 
leafing hanging over the lovers, in the light ; in order thus to have below some 
darkness for setting off the lovers : my intention being to place that group directly 
in the sun, in order to have there the principal light. 

But here I may be reproved on a supposition that I act counter to my own posi- 
tion; namely, that in sun-shine people do not stand talking without shading their 
eyes; which I do not deny: but, let it be considered, that the gods are not subject 
to human frailties, and therefore they can look against the sun : and, to solve the 
difficulty with respect to Adonis, who is not a god, I make his upper parts in shade, 
receiving agreeable and strong reflections from Xenus and the Graces. 

From whence arises another difficulty; namely, by what means this ground-shade 
can fall on him only, since they are sitting so close together, that Venus's arm is 
about his neck, and one of his hands presses her breast; and therefore she must 
take some part of the same shade? To which I answer, that there are means 
enough, by one thing or^other, to find that shade. And, as for Venus, she may be 
so disposed, a little backward or forward, as to receive light enough. Now, that 
Mars and Envy, at the stone, may not draw the eye too much from the principals, 
by making them in the light, I bring not much sun into that quarter ; I mean, that I 
set the foremost whole stem of a tree, and a great part of the hindermost, with part 
of Mars, in a ground-shade, occasioned by something without the piece ; and to 
let that shade run, on the fore-ground, just to the low wall, breaking the residue 
here and there somewhat with bushes and shrubs: I might also place there a ierm y 
or other object, in order a little to fill that corner. 

We have before said, that neither houses nor temples must enter the composition. 
Why not they, say some, as well as the term? To which I answer, that the fable 
makes no mention of any such objects: and, let me ask, who should live in the 
houses? It is not said, that Adonis, though a man, had any household, or that he 
worshipped in a temple. 

This piece may be richly embellished with ten or twelve figures, though Mars 
and Envy are but party figures. Some landscape-painters may possibly object 
against so great a number, for that those, well executed, would better become a 
history than a landscape : but the answer is easy ; the figures are small, and the 
landscape large. 

We shall now proceed to the colours and actions of the figures. 

Of Landscapes. 

We represent Venus in her linen, yet with her upper parts and legs almost bare, 
under her, on the grass, appears part of a light and red garment. 

Adonis s garment is greenish blue, or dark violet. 

The two Graces, standing next to Yams, an- dressed in light-coloured garments of 
changeable stuff and broken colours, preserving, about that group, a great ma^s of 
light: for which reason, I choose such colours as do not cause any unseemly re- 
flections in the carnation of Yenus or Adonis. Her garment, who is crowning Venus 
with a chaplet, is rose-colour; a second, more forward, and with one knee bent, 
is in white, and has a flower in her hand ; and the third having the fruits, and stand- 
ing on the left side, and somewhat higher than the hillock, has an Aurora or straw- 
coloured garment. We need not say much about Mars and Envy, since Ceesar 
Ripa relates enough touching them. Nothing is more proper for Mars than a. 
rusty fillemot or blood-coloured coat ; and for Envy, than a black one. 

As for the motions of Yenus and Adonis, they are fronting in both ; but their feet 
more or less turned to the light. 

Adonis, on the right side, inclines his upper parts towards Yenus, with his right 
hand on her breast, and his right shoulder coming forwards; his under parts are 
fronting, and his leg extended, and his right drawn in, as if he were about to rise ; 
his face fronting inclines a little over his shoulder to the child who blows the horn. 
Coutrarily, Yenus, resting on her right thigh, applies, in some measure, both her 
knees to his extended leg ; her face, in profile, turning towards him, fronts the sun;- 
her breast is also seen fronting; she draws back her left elbow, in order to press his 
hand to her breast. 

On due consideration, these two figures will be found to have a natural and easy 
contrast or opposition, in motion ; since I have endeavoured to give myself full satis- 
faction touching all the actions exhibited, before I set the layman. 

But I must return again to the composition. I forgot to place two children be- 
hind the foremost low wall ; of whom, the one is leaning over it, and, with a finger 
on his mouth, and head sunk, is shewing the other the sleeping river-god. I place 
them there, first, for decorum's sake ; and secondly, in order to break, in some 
measure, that long and stiff piece of stone work. The water-god is of a brownish 
yellow hue, almost as dark as the said stone-work ; and, for two reasons ; first, for 
the sake of repose; and, secondly, to prevent a mass of light there with the chil- 
dren, to the detriment of the principal: besides a further purpose; to adorn the 
pedestal of the vase with a bass-relief, representing a bacchanal or dancing nymphs ; 
and though it come in shade, yet I assign it strong reflections. There ought also 
to be added one or two dogs asleep ; of which, the one awakening, stares back 
-«ith pricked up ear*, at the sound of the horn. 

2(54 ty Landscapes. 

I have before said, that one of the Graces should be dressed in white; but now 
I cast a beautiful blue veil over it, as proper to break the strength of the Avhite. 

A piece, thus executed, is sufficient for the production of many others ; especially 
if we duly consider how many things are observed in it, which by few is taken 
notice of, viz. the quality of each figure, its origin or emblematic signification, 
&c. Many fictions are painted from the poet's description ; but few people weigh 
the writer's meaning, though attended with an explanation ; which, however, 
is only general, without the addition of the circumstances, though well known to the 
writer, as the shapes, dresses, colours, passions, and other remarkables : whence we 
may conclude what must be the case of those men who do not make themselves 
masters of all these things ; and how easily they mistake, even pervert the sense 
of the writer or poet. If the fact lay in the spring they represent it in summer ; 
if, in a winter morning, they exhibit an autumn evening: ought the opening to be 
a solitary place, or wilderness, they will introduce diversions : should any person 
have a red drapery, as proper to him, it is made blue, yellow, &c. We grant that 
the fable may be represented plain enough ; and who the characters are, and what 
they are doing, presently conceived ; but the drift of it is wanting. 

It is unnecessary to enlarge on this composition further than to observe, that. 
Mar* here signifies vengeance ; Adonis, the wi?iter ; and Venus, the spring ; which 
is the reason why these two last cannot agree. 

The poets write that there were four who went under the name of Venus. The 
first was the daughter of Caelum and the Day. The second was brought forth of 
the froth of the sea, being conceived in a mother of pearl, and conducted to Cyprus, 
by the airy zephyrs : it was she who bore Cupid to Mercury. The third was the 
daughter of Jupiter and Dione, who was wedded to Yulcan, chief of the cuckolds ; 
and the fourth was the Syrian, called Astarte, who courted the love of Adonis, and 
to whom Solomon erected altars to pleasure his concubines. Whence we may judge 
what great disparity there is between these Yenuses. 

As for the wild boar, it implies the night, ignorance, impiety, filthiness, lewd- 
ness, &c. 

The Second Picture, or sequel of the foregoing Story. 

When Adonis was now tired with kissing and flattery; or, to say better, when 
his sorrowful fate drew near, and the dogs, scenting the boar, set up a cry, he, deaf 
to Yenus's entreaties, wrested from her embraces, and jumped up eager for sport. 

We must previously understand, that we are obliged to confine ourselves to two 
principal points ; namely, the general disposition, and the light: and though, on a 
due consideration, it may possibly seem to be less advantageous than if it were a 

Of Landscapes. 26b 

single piece (which I willingly allow) yet, as it now serves to match another, it there- 
fore requires the same light, though a reversed one might hetter hecoine it ; becauv 
then I should be at greater liberty: but even then, the disposition would not be 
different enough from the former. 

We have, in the book on composition, shewn, that when two pieces hang to- 
gether they ought to have a certain conformity, especially landscapes with small 
figures : as if, for instance, the heaviest work be in the one on the right side, and 
the visto on the left, in the other, or matching piece, it must be contrary ; and 
yet, notwithstanding that necessity or rule, which however subsists, I find some- 
thing which gives me greater satisfaction, and better expresses the sense, as may 
appear in the sequel. 

I place as in the preceding subject, the point of sight in the middle of the picce.and 
on the right side an eminence, ascended by three or four steps, fronting or parallel 
with the horizon. Upon it, at the end against the distance, I represent an open 
niche, almost square and compass-headed, adorned on both sides with pilasters, 
supporting a small but elegant cornice, here and there somewhat broken. About 
the niche hang festoons of poppies, which are fastened to the crown of the niche ; 
and, being buttoned up on each side, their ends entwined hang down together. 
Through this uiche, having a seat before it, we discover au agreeable view of 
woods, lawns, rivers, roads, &c. This eminence takes up a third part of the piece, 
running off steep on the inner side. Forwards, against the steps, which are mostly 
in shade by trees without the piece, to the corner whereof stands the goddess ; we 
place her gilt chariot drawn by two pidgeons. 

On the left side, between the point of sight and the frame of the piece, stand 
three or four great and beautiful trees, in a row, running from the fore-part of the 
piece, and by the hillock towards the point of sight. In the comer, behind the 
eminence, rises a high and rough rock, also running towards the same point, making 
between both a narrow passage, which forwards is over-run with bushes and grass ; 
and behind is bare, so as to discover, through it, the off-scape and end of the rock. 
Forwards in the rock, I make a large craggy hollow, into which the water falls with 
impetuosity. Thus much mostly as to the fore-ground: at the end of it runs a 
narrow crossing river, from the eminence to the back part of the rock; along the 
side whereof, I shew a plantation of high trees, in order to make the off-scapes, 
which is seen through them, appear as in a valley. On the level whereon stands 
Adonis ; I set, between two trees, a white marble basis, with a broken term, and 
its trunk lying near it. 

Thus I have shewed the general design ; which, I question not, will appear more 
uncommon and wood-like than the other. The third I hope to make still more 

VOL. I. '> jfl 

cQQ Of Landscapes. 

wild than this, because the subject requires it. Some may possibly think it is to be an 
agreeable and delightful picture; but the sequel will shew it to be otherwise; for 
in this I represent the month of August, and the sun somewhat darkened and fiery, 
instead of shining brightly, the air gloomy and cloudy, as if it were going to thun- 
der ; the wind also blows, and every thing is shaking and in motion ; not one way, 
but as in a whirlwind, the dust, like a vapour, rising from the ground in some places. 
Perhaps you did not expect this sort of management, but on clue consideration of 
the case, it will be found both natural and artful. 
We now proceed to dispose the characters. 

The goddess, seeing the evening approach, doubled her courtship. The cold 
Adonis contrarily, eager for sport, hearing the noise of -the dogs, hastily arises from 
the eminence. Now, all things are in a hurry, Venus follows him with intreaties, 
but in vain ; Fate seizes and pulls him along with her. The Graces are in confusion ; 
one runs after him ; another, fearful of the goddess's swooning, and tumbling down 
the steps, supports her; the third, sadly shrieking and crying, lifts up her open 
hands on high. The boys are in contention ; one is hawling Adonis away, and the 
other stopping him: Cupid Wen thrown on the ground: others run with the dogs 
before. The wild boar appears in the before-mentioned narrow passage, between 
the eminence and the river, set on by Cruel Rage with a pitch torch in her hand. 

Now this composition seems to have much more work than the preceding ; and 
\et, if considered, it will be found otherwise; and that in the former, the figures are 
only more scattered : besides, in hearing things related, they always seem more to 
us than in the picture itself. 

Venus I exhibit as coming down the steps, as also one of the Graces, who runs 
after Adonis, since he is slipped out of the goddess's hands. The youth I represent 
running just in the middle of the piece, between the eminence of the trees, three or 
four paces beyond the steps, whereon the goddess stands beseeching him in tears. 
He is almost half in the ground shade of the eminence ; for 1 have said, that the sun 
is setting. The children who attend the dogs are entirely shaded by the stone-work 
on the eminence, which is so high and large, that the bodies of the last trees do not 
escape it. Yerius stands with her right foot on the lowermost step, and with the left 
on the middlemost on the inner corner, stooping; her under parts almost fronting, 
and her upper parts turned sideways towards him ; pressing her folded hands, with 
the elbows forwards against her body, and sinking her head, looks from him towards 
heaven. I place one of the Graces by her side as coming down, embracing the god- 
dess about the waist with fear and concern, and, with amazement, looking to the 
left after Adonis. The other virgin, who runs after him, is now with one knee on 
the ground, with her left hand shewing him the goddess, and with her right hand 
holding a skirt of his coat ; so that she is most seen from behind. The third has, as 

Of Landscapes. 267 

is said, her hands stretched on high, and her face is swelled by the violence of her 
outcries. Adonis, as in "real haste, advances his right leg, turning his breast to the 
right to the light ; he holds a spear in his right hand, high close to his side, which a 
boy is withholding with all his strength; for which another angrily strikes him with 
his bow. Adonis looks downwards, with his face fronting, at the virgin who is at 
his feet ; pointing, with his left hand, which is fore-shortened, at the wood ; by which 
arm Fate is pulling him thither; she is flying, and has a rudder of a ship on Ikt 
shoulder; her right shoulder and right breast come forward, her other parts being 
fore-shortened, and her face turned backwards. Before him I represent a Cupid 
also flying, and pulling him towards the wood by the string of the horn which 
swings by his side. This boy is seen quite from behind, with his feet flung out, and 
holding his bow in his right hand, with which he is threatening another, who is 
tumbled down, and lies also fore-shortened, with his head forwards, and feet to- 
wards Adonis; he is all in shade, except his head, and the hand with which he 
scratches it: his torch lies near him extinguished. 

A flying part of Venus's red garment comes about her right arm, and swings be- 
hind over her left leg. The chaplet of flowers falls from her head down her back ; 
Fate is dressed in black, with a small flying veil over it. 

Behind the broken term are seen the arms of 31urs, viz. his armour, helmet, shield, 
sword, and spear, lying on the ground in shade. Now, although Mars does not 
appear in his own shape, but in that of the boar in which he was metamorphosed, 
yet we need not wonder at it, because we must not suppose that, as he was a god, 
he entered into it stockined and shoed. Some may possibly ask, whether he could 
not do it in his full habiliments? and I say, he might; but then I must ask again, 
how we should know it? the dresses of gods and men have no sensation, either good 
or bad ; they are even of no other signification than to make the person known ; for, 
were they subject to the passions arising from heat or cold, they would also share 
the punishments of the body, as the head, hands, &c. do. 

Yet it may be very reasonably asked here, in case we were to represent the can- 
erous Aglaura, metamorphosed by Mercury into a touch-stone, whether her garments 
should not be cpiite black? and I answer, that nothing but her body should be so; 
for otherwise my assertions fall to the ground, though I have said, that the dress 
makes the person known: nevertheless I shall in this point further explain myself. 

The king Lyncus approaches the bed of his sleeping guest, Triplohmur, with inten- 
tion to slay him. Ceres appeared at the very instant, and took the weapon from the 
king ; at the same time transforming him into a lynx, a beast like a tiger, for viola- 
ting the laws of hospitality. This story I would represent thus : — The king is not 
there ; the beast 1 make taking to flight, shaking from him about the floor the pur- 

•2 M 2 

268 Of Landscapes. 

pie garment and crown. Tliis I think most agreeable to nature and probability. 
Add to this another instance. 

Juno, says the poet, in wrathful jealousy, beat the poor Calisto so much, that she 
was metamorphosed into a she-bear. Now, how is this to be represented, in order 
to know what she was, man or woman? I would represent the frighted bear as 
taking to flight, not clothed, but dragging her garment behind her along the ground. 
Here the bow, there the quiver of arrows, strap, and other ornaments. 

Yet m what a mean manner have I seen the king Lyncus represented by Testo. 
He stands with the dagger in his hand, clothed and crowned, having for legs the 
frightful paws of a bear. 

Thus I have affirmed, that clothes serve gods and men only for distinction: which 
brings to my remembrance, a print of Poussin, confirming what I have said. It ex- 
hibits the Elysian fields, with the happy sonls at rest, and youth, or eternal spring, 
dancing and strewing flowers. Here we see Hyacinthus, Narcissus, Crocus, Adonis. 
Ajax, and many others, in sitting postures, as when living : whence we may easily 
perceive, how difficult it would bo to know them without their particular badges of 
distinction, as the spear, horn, fountain, helmet, chaplet of roses, &c. and how im- 
possible it was Poussin, so excellent and learned a man, to make Ajax known, see- 
ing he there represents him in the same rage or despair ; to wit, stabbing himself, as 
when he Was before Troy. A great mistake, in my opinion, with respect to proba- 
bility. I should rather have left it out; as also the chamber-pot or cistern wherein 
Narcissus is viewing himself. 

I can hardly believe so strange a design to be of Poussin himself; since Ajax is 
placed in so cruel a posture among the happy souls ; a man who, being a felo de se, 
rather deserved hell. Why may not Sisyphus, Jxion, Prometheus, or Tantalus, who 
are doomed to hellish punishments, be of their company? It is true, that Ajax acted 
only against himself, on account of the arms of Achilles, to which he had a claim, 
and the others offended the gods ; one stole the fire from heaven, another had the 
impudence to trepan the goddess Juno to his lust by an ambush, &c. 

Testa has, in my opinion, in many particulars, exhibited the same representation, 
better and more intelligible than Poussin, as being much larger, and more pleasant 
and painter-like; but yet he runs counter to the probability of that place of rest; 
as we may perceive in the two figures of a boy and girl; where he is taking some 
flowers out of her lap, and she, in return, is ready to scratch out his eyes; being 
an old quarrel revived. Now, in fact, neither hatred, quarrel, or jealousy — nothing 
but repose and peace should appear there. 

But methinks I hear some say, that I derogate from the worth of those two 
great men, by thus exposing their mistakes, and that it is easier to find faults than 
to make a thorough composition ; which I perfectly own : nevertheless my intention 

Of Landscapes. 26.9 

is not in anywise (o build a reputation on their errors ; since it will appear, through- 
out this work, that I am no kinder to my own mistakes than to those of others ; and 
this with a view of shewing artists a way for avoiding such common defects, and of 
making them more careful to mind probability in all parts. Here let us make a 
comparison between an architect and a painter. A good architect ought first exactly 
to know what ground is most proper for his purpose, in building a temple, palace, 
&c. as, whether it be firm or marshy, and to which quarter he must order his front; 
and then to proceed to work. If a painter intend to represent a courtship or a mili- 
tary exercise, offering, or any thing else, he will also look for a proper place wherein 
to lay the subject. The architect makes a plan of his court with all its appurte- 
nances ; of a temple, with the choir, altar, and other particulars, &c. of a fortification, 
with its bastions, ravelines, rendezvous, &c. A painter likewise exhibits the Elysian 
fields, or the garden of Flora for caresses ; a temple, for divine service ; a court, 
with the king and his retinue ; or a forest for hunting. Now, if a person enter the 
temple, during divine service, with a sword in his hand, or be stabbing himself in the 
Elysian fields, among the happy souls, in order to give his soul a second remove; 
would you not conclude those things to be very improper for such places, and fitter 
for Troy ? I ask, whether the sacred temple and fields are not thereby profaned ? 
and were dogs to be hunted in the palace-court, or place of rendezvous, would it not 
be ridiculous ? Ajax never entered the Elysian fields before his soul's separation, 
yet here he stabs himself again: has he another soul to depart from him? 
Let us now proceed to the description, division, and consideration of the 

Third and last Composition. 

The goddess of love perceiving all her endeavours to be fruitless, and growing 
impatient for Adonis's return, took her chariot, drawn by two swans, and drove 
swiftly towards the wood, in order to seek him, leaving her (traces behind as useless 
at this juncture, as we shall further explain at the end of this composition. Cujjid 
follows Ik r shrieking. The unhappy youth, bit by the wild boar in his thigh, lies 
gasping against a large oak ; where, at last, \eni(s finds him in his blood ; where- 
fore stepping from her chariot, like one frantic, she bewails him, abhorring her god- 
head, and cursing the cruel tyranny which prescribes law to heaven and earth. In 
the mean time Adonis expin s, and his waving soul is taken by Morcury, and carried 
to the Elysian fields. — This fable I represent thus : 

Adonis is lying on his left side, fore-shortened, with his neck against the trunk of 
a large oak ; and his right breast and shoulder upwards ; his left arm extended ; 
and the right close to his body, holding the spear which is partly under him ; his 
head hangs almost on his left arm, a little foreright, with the right cheek upwards; 
his feet are turned towards the left corner of the piece, forwards ; his left knee, rest- 

270 Of Landscapes. 

ing on a small rising, or stone, is half drawn up ; a hunting-horn lies at his feet. 
The dogs at his head, on the left side, howl and yelp. Cupid, on his right side, 
stoops down, and looks at Yenus shrieking ; at the same time opening Adonis's gar- 
ment, in order to shew the bloody wound to his mother ; who, affrighted, starts back, 
and raises her hands towards heaven. Cupid's back is, by the goddess, partly in 
the ground-shade ; his breast is fore-shortened, his feet close, and knees somewhat 
bent; holding a torch in his right hand. Yenus, as has been said, raises her hands 
on high, putting out her right leg, and drawing back her left foot on a cloud, which, 
behind her, runs up to the right under the chariot; her upper parts incline over the 
said left foot; her chin is sunk into her breast; and thus she beholds the wound. 
Her breast is fore-shortened, and her right hip is fronting. Behiud the aforesaid oak, 
against which Adonis is lying, the chariot is seen in profile, on some waving clouds 
alike with the horizon ; which about Yenus descend gradually lighter and lighter to 
underneath her foot. The chariot, though gilt, yet kept dark by a cloud, is elegantly 
wrought with children, festoons, and foliage; behind, on top, is a large star, and the 
chariot partly hid by the body of the oak. Forwards, between the middle and the 
left corner, stands a stone, about three feet square, with the broken trunk of a term; 
the residue whereof, as the head and a part of the body, lie on the ground, among 
the bushes and shrubs. This stone stands somewhat obliquely, with the left corner 
towards the left side of the piece ; close to which side rises a high tree; and a little 
further another, quite overgrown five or six feet high. Behind the stone, among 
the shrubs, thistles and thorns, the boar, attempting to fly, lies wounded in blood 
and dirt on its fore-legs, with its mouth wide open. On the second ground, on the 
right side, goes Atropos with her scissors in her hand and distaff on her shoulder ; 
being, almost to the middle, hid behind the ground and in shade, except her head 
and a part of one shoulder. 

The principal view is on the left side of the point of sight. A little above it flies 
Mercury with the soul of the youth, in order to carry it to the Elysian fields. They 
are both seen fore-shortened, with their right sides fronting. The youth is quite 
naked, having his arm across his breast, his legs close, and his left foot a little above 
the other. Mercury holds him with his left arm behind about the middle, and, 
looking at him, with his caduceus forwards, points to the place they are going to. 
A small garment, of this winged messenger, is flying behind him upwards. 

The ground is craggy and rocky, here and there over-run with grass, thistles, 
and hollies. 

The light comes from the right side, a little fronting, and the weather is rainy. 
The air is winter-like, yet calm. The trees are but thinly leafed, except some which 
can endure the winter, as cypress, laurel, elm, briar, &c. which must give the most 
green here. The end of the fore-ground, on the right side, to the foot of the goddess, 

Of Landscapes. 271 

is in shade, by a bush and some ^usall trees. Venus, Cupids upper parts, the dead 
body, with the ground, and the tree against winch it lies, are strongly lighted. The 
stone forwards, under Adonis, is mostly shaded with the fore-ground, by some 
cypresses on the right side, quite forward in the corner. Some pieces of the term 
(which represents a /annus or satyr), lying somewhat further, receive a little light. 
The boar, whose hind parts are hidden between the left side of the stone and the 
tree standing by it, partakes also of that shade to almost his neck. The happy soul, 
flying with the winged messenger, just by the tree or chariot, is, with him, from the 
feet to the middle, shaded by the leaves and branches of the trees ; and are far above 
the horizon, so that the green of the trees almost touches their heads. The sign 
Capricorn, in token of the first winter month, appears in the air, very faint, and 
lighter than the air; it is just over the chariot, where the sky is darkest. 

As for the colours, I arrange them thus : — Venus is in an airy dress of pale rose- 
colour, with a blue veil over it. Adonis, with his right shoulder and breast bare, 
has a light hllemot vestment, with violet reflections ; his cheeks are pale, and lips 
livid, and so are his hands and feet, yet he has a beautiful skin. Venus is very clear 
and tender skinued ; her face and hands warmly coloured. Cupid is of a middling 
complexion, not so clear as the goddess, and somewhat more rosy than Adonis. 
Venus has light hair; Adonis light chesnut, and Cupid brown hair. 

This subject requires more cypress and myrtle than other sorts of trees. 

The ground forward, from the right side to beyond the stone, is marshy. 

I do not introduce the Graces here, as in the preceding composition, because they 
are improper ; for they must not attend Yenus on sorrowful occasions, as having a 
quite different use and meaning, as we shall here observe; and the rather, since in 
the former subject we have shewn the significations of Venus, Adonis, Mars, and the 
wild boar. 

Hesiod testifies, that they were three sisters, who by the painters are represented 
young, jolly, and agreeable, hand in hand. That their dresses were flying, thin and 
gay, discovering their forms. That the eldest was named Agiais ; the second, 
Euphrosyne, and the youngest, Thalia. Seneca proceeds further, and shews their 
qualities and significations ; saying, among other things, in his Treatise de Beuejiciis, 
that some by the first imply comfort itself, that the second receives, and the third 
retaliates it. Others again are of opinion, that by this triplicity are signified the 
three particular delights or kindnesses, to wit, shewing kindness, receiving kindness, 
and requiting. But that they should be represented thus hand in hand, without 
some occult meaning, is not likely, but rather, that thereby is signified, that bestowed 
benefits, passing from hand to hand, at last return to the person who first bestowed 
them. They are represented as having a jolly air; because benefits, to be perfectly 
agreeable, ought to be conferred frankly and liberally ; without which the act loses 

272 Of Landscapes. 

its grace. Their youth signifies, that the memory of past benefits ought never to 
grow stale. Their virginity shews, that they are pure and upright, universally bene- 
ficial, without hope of return, which sullies the benefaction. Their thin raiment 
shews, that the enjoyment must be so great as to be visible. 

To say more would be a repetition of what has been already treated of in the 
chapter of hieroglyphics and their significations. 



JUaving in the preceding chapter delivered what I had to say concerning a fine 
fable, and the mysterious sense of some circumstances, I find myself obliged, by the 
satisfaction which several of the best artists have found therein, to gratify their 
desires, and to give an occasion for exercise, in sketching such another. 

I have chosen for this purpose the fable of Dryope, and will adapt it as much as 
possible to the ornament of landscapes, making it a without-door prospect. 

The story, according to Ovid, is this. Dryope, insensible of the sorrowful disaster 
that Was to befal her, on a certain time took a walk by a lake encompassed with 
myrtles, with intent to make the nymphs of the place presents of garlands of flowers. 
She took with her her little son Amphisus, not a year old, accompanied by her sister 
Tole, with a basket of flowers and wreathed garlands. Near the lake stood a tree, 
called Lotos, bearing red blossoms ; of which she rashly broke a twig to amuse her 
child ; but perceiving blood to issue from it, and that the whole tree was thereby 
violently agitated, she was much affrighted ; and the more, when in going thence, 
she felt her feet fastening into the earth ; for she was transformed into a tree. 

I exhibit the subject (see Plate LIV.) in a delightful valley, (according to the tes- 
timony of the poet) planted with myrtles, and encompassed by a brook. In the 
middle of the piece I place, as the principal, the tree Lotos, full of red blossoms and 
thickly leafed. From this tree Dryope broke off the sprig. I make it to shake and 
move so violently, that the trunk of it by that means becomes distorted and winding. 
On the left side I place the rash Dryope, of a beautiful air, and black haired, having 
her son Amphisas about the middle in her left arm. She advances with her left foot 
towards the tree, a little drawing back the right : her upper parts fall back still more. 
In her right hand, lifted up, she holds the bloody sprig, at which she stares in con- 
fusion. Her left thigh comes forward. Her upper parts sway to the left ; her 
breast is almost fronting directly against the light ; her face in profile more or less 
turns back, and her feet are by this time fixed in the ground. We see the child's 
hinder parts, and its head is set off against her breast. Her sister, on the right side 
of the tree, standing over against her, I represent with light hair, and in the utmost 

Of Landscapes. 273 

concern, wringing her clasped hands against Iier left cheek. Her head turned to the 
right hangs over her right shoulder ; her breast heaves, and her under parts draw 
quite back. Her knees are bent, her right foot Hung out, and the left drawn back, 
as if she were fainting away. She is about fourteen or sixteen years of age. The 
nymph who supports Dryope is placed between her and the tree, holding her back 
with her left hand, and with her right uncovering the leg, and shewing to the sister, 
at whom she looks, that the foot has already taken root. Another nymph, who is 
taking the child, has her left side fronting, yet her back parts are mostly visible ; she 
is on her knees, the left forward, the other quite drawn back, pushing with her fool, 
against a water vessel, which at the brink of the water she overturns. A third on 
the right side conies running, quite astonished, with a lap full of flowers ; she points 
with her left hand towards the others, and looks to the left at her companions sitting 
on the banks of the river, which partly runs between the trees towards rhe point of 
sight. The one arises and looks forward with amazement, and makes it known to 
the other sitting towards the water, who therefore supporting herself on her left hand, 
turns her upper parts to the right, in order to look back. They have mostly chapkts 
either on their heads or lying by them. 

Thus much, as to the disposition and actions of the moveable by-ornaments, which, 
consisting of virgins, each is contrasted according to her passion. We now proceed 
to the immoveable ornaments. 

On the left side, on a rising ground, between the trees, I place a large fronting 
Priapus term, without arms or legs, mostly in the shade against the distance, which 
strongly throws off the foremost group. On the right side forwards, half in the 
water, I set a square large rough stone, whereon lies a garment or veil, and a parcel 
of leaves and flowers. In the pannel of this stone is carved a Fatality in bass relief. 
Behind it, and between the nymph with the flowers, I place a basket of chaplets. 

As for the season, it is laid between summer ajid winter, in the ripening autumn, 
and in fine weather for the time of year. The light is a side one a little fronting. 

The sun may be put in or left out, as every one pleases, because it is not men- 
tioned or insisted on in the fable. 

I shall next proceed to describe the further circumstances of this composition ; 
since without shewing the light and darkness, harmony and colours, it is imperfect, 
and not like nature. It must be granted, that the harmony and shadowing often- 
times shew themselves, and that the light is sufficiently apparent to him who under- 
stands perspective : but whether there may not occur still something beyond the 
common guess and judgment, I very much question. As for the colours, they must 
needs be expressed ; since without it, it is impossible to know or penetrate mine or 
any other painter's thought-. 

vol. i. 2 N 

S74 Of Landscapes. 

I therefore assign Dry ope, as the principal character, a bine satin garment ; one 
loose part of which goes over her right shoulder and comes under her girdle, and 
the other is in her left hand, with which she holds the naked child about the middle, 
when the remainder with an under-flap tucked in the girdle under her left breast 
covers all her other parts down to the feet, except the left leg and foot, which is 
rooted in the ground. Her under garment, as likewise the open sleeve about her 
left arm, is yellowish white, with green reflections. Her garment next the left leg 
is open. The foremost nymph is almost naked, having no other covering than a fine 
white scarf about her middle. The dresses of Dry ope and Iole are intermixed 
with gold in order to make a difference between them and the nymphs. The nymph, 
who is naked from the middle, I dress in a dark green vestment, gathered at the 
waist, and fastened by a girdle. Iole has an airy garment, close-sleeved, of a bright 
rose colour, girt with a broad girdle of dark violet embroidered with gold ; and 
under it a flowered coat open below, and giving freedom to the legs. The stone 
forward is greyish, and the vessel dark red. The ground next the water is grassy ; 
and thus I variegate the whole fore-ground. The nymph, who on the right side of 
the second ground comes running, has a greenish breast garment, loose, and untied 
without sleeves, and fastened but on one shoulder, the left breast and legs being 
bare. The other sitting further behind, on the edge of the river, I leave quite 
naked. Her companion has a small green scarf. The stone Priapus is dark grey 
inclinable to violet. 

As for the light, I think that the major part ought principally to fall on Dry ope 
and the two nymphs next her, and on what else belongs to that group. The re- 
sidue may be little, and mostly foreign lighted, either from behind, before, or side- 
ways ; yet in such sort as that the cause thereof and the shades (as by what and from 
whence) may plainly appear; else they will be but loose fancies without foundation. 

Some may possibly question, whether hereby the light will answer my purpose, 
because I assign Dryope a blue garment over a yellowish white one, judging, not 
without seeming reason, yet without knowing my intention, that the contrary would 
look more decorous ; namely, the light over the dark ; because the greatest and 
strongest mass of light falling on the middle parts of the figure, the naked child 
would be more beautifully set off, if her breast or upper parts were dark, than 
against the yellowish white. This, with respect to the light, I willingly allow, but 
not as to the colour; for I designedly made the garment blue, in order to make the 
naked nymph beautiful ; and yet, with intention that that part might keep a strong 
and broad light: for this reason, I have chosen a stuff for it accordingly, it being 
browh, that satin has a gloss, and almost the same force as gold or silver stuffs. 
The red garment of Iole, as being a beautiful and light colour, will be sufficiently, 
yet too much, set oft' against the dark ground : but the blue has here, on account of 

Of Ltniilscupcs. 27") 

the groat mass, more power; though lia\ iiiir more light about it; for the red is hut 
a small spot. I have as much as possible considered the probability of this n pre- 
sentation, and the harmony in the disposition of the colours; assigning each figure 
its particular and proper emblematic colour, not only in the draperies, but also in 
the nudities, giving one a fair and tender, another a more brownish skin, and so forth. 
Each figure lias likewise its particular characteristic; the head of the water-nymph 
i> adorned with w lute bell-flowers ; that of the wood-nymph with wild plants: and 
that of her who comes running forward, with field flowers. If it be wondered, that 1 
make mention of satin, since we rarely hear it was in use among the ancients ; 1 say 
the observation is just with respect to statuaries, but not as to painters; because J 
have met with several old pictures wherein I have satin represented; but how long 
that stuff has been known to the world I cannot tell, nor shall inquire. In the 
meantime, it must be allowed to be a beautiful and elegant stuff; as are also the 
changeable silks, though in a less degree, and more proper for young people, 

I insist largely on these fables, to give occasion for further inquiries into them; 
for Ovid is not full and particular in all his fables, and we are obliged to fetch a 
great deal from other authors. 

He gives us no right idea of the tree Lotus, (a stranger to these countries) nor 
mentions, what sort of leafing it has, or its virtues, or whether it be of a moist or 
dry nature, or where it grows most plentifully.; wherefore, as far as I have met 
with them, 1 shall produce the testimonies of some authors about this tree, together 
with the emblematic sense and explanations they assign : a very proper part of 
knowledge for a landscape painter, whose inclination leads him to something un- 
common, and desires to pass for learned among the curious and knowing. 

I have found, in general, that the leaves are round; which at the rising sun open, 
and as he goes down close, and at night double; wherefore, when we introduce no 
sun-shine, they must be represented doubled or shut. 

As for the mysterious sense, we must know, that the JSBgyptiams paid more ho- 
nours to this tree than any others, on a belief, that it was a mediator between hea- 
venly and earthly things. It is moreover used to represent the sun's rising and 
setting : especially with the addition of a child sitting on it, by which they signified 
the morning vapours, which the sun's approach dispels. And because it opens and 
shuts its ka\es with the suns rising and setting, it is sacred to Apollo, as a tree pe- 
culiar to him, and out of respect shewing its leaves to him only. 

The hairy Lotos was also much venerated by the Iiommis, who offered the vestals 
of hair to it,* as they did those of young men to Apollo, or to his sou Aesculapius. 

Mucrob. lib. 4. cup. 19. 
•2 \ 2 

276 Of Landscapes. 

The Greeks sacrificed their hair in the same manner to the rivers of their country, 
as having a certain relation to this tree, which they imagined had such intercourse 
with the gods, that they made it their seat : and therefore it was planted in morasses. 

Iamblichus testifies that these trees require much moisture; whence the ancients 
infered, the first cause of procreation : therefore, calling the ocean the father of all 
creatures. And, observing the round leaves, round stem, and round fruit, they 
would by this most perfect figure, intimate the perfection of the highest Deity, es- 
pecially when a child was represented sitting on a tree; which Ovid likewise alludes 
to in this fable, when (as Mr. Pope has rendered it) he says, 

" Now, from my branching arms this infant bear, 
" JLet some hind nurse supply a mother's care ; 
" Yet to his mother let him oft be led, 
" Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed ; — • 

We shall now proceed to, 

A second Composition relating to Dryope. 

The story is this. As soon as Andra?mon was advertised of the sorrowful accident 
which had happened to his wife Dryope, he hasted to the place in company with his 
father ; but they arrived too late to have any speech with her before the metamor- 
phoses. A rough bark had now seized her body and members, insomuch that she 
was only to be known from other trees by her shape and soft voice. Her arms made 
two branches, abounding with leaves ; besides her head attire, covered with greens. 
Both the father and son hung about her neck, and wept ; and with the child, at her 
request, kissed her for the last time : whereupon she was divested of her human shape. 

In the former composition I have placed the river forwards, and in this, sideways. 
Dryope, all but her head, transformed into a myrtle tree, I place almost in the 
middle of the piece, standing upright, a little to the left of the point of sight. An- 
drcemon takes her about the neck, and kisses her left cheek. His aged and sorrowful 
fiither complains of the sorrowful mishap to a nymph standing near him, with his 
right hand tearing open Dryope s linen, in order to shew her the body; which be- 
holding, she raises her shoulders, turning her head away, and looking down. Ano- 
ther nymph, having the little Amphisus in her arms, lifts him up in order to kiss his 
mother. Iole I place in great lamentation at Dryope s feet; and a step further 
stands the tree Lotos. On the second ground, on the right side, I set the term of 
Priapus, cross-hung with festoons of flowers and greens tied under the navel ; and 
before it a small smoking altar, with some people offering. On the left side, on the 
fore-ground, I place the large square stone, half under water, with a nymph leaning 
on it. These are the heads of my design. The view is on the left side of the point 
of sight, and consists of hills and waters ; and as I represent an evening, the air is full 

Of Landscapes. '277 

of vapours and dark clouds; and the trees, by reason of the wind, are in agitation. 
Now, as this piece is the fellow of the former, all things should, of right, be equally 
full of work ; hut because this design has the greater variety, as exhibiting some 
men, I have been necessitated to depart a little from the original disposition, since 
what is introduced into the other must needs be seen here ; as we have largely treated 
in the 2 1st chap, of composition. Wherefore I place Dryope fronting, with both 
her arms lifted up, and pretty near each other. Her head loosely hangs down be- 
tween them, to the left. Her arms, from the elbows upwards, together with her breasts 
and a little of her body, retain their first form. Andramon is seen, on the left side 
standing on tip-toe in order to kiss her left cheek, which she offers him ; his right 
arm is about her neck, and his left on her breast. A little forwards stands the father 
tottering ; and, near his side, the nymph, to whom he complains ; at the same time 
opening Dry opes under-garment, only tied on her shouldervwith a ribbon, and turn- 
ing his head and upper parts to the left, with his face towards heaven. The nymph 
stands close behind him very dejected and sorrowful, raising her shoulders, and 
looking downwards with her head a little sideling off from Dryopc ; her left elbow- 
is drawn in, and her open hand up at her head; her breast is bare, and in the light. 
Her under parts are fronting, and her right leg flung out. Andrtcmoiis garment, 
falling from his shoulder, hangs about his heels. The nymph who, on the right side, 
where the ground is somewhat lower, is lifting up the child, falls back in her upper 
parts, with her head hanging forw aids ; she rests on her right leg, having the left lifted 
up against the tree; her back is fronting, and turns to the light, and her under parts 
have a contrary sway. The child, whose upper parts only are seen (the rest being 
hidden by her head), stretches out both his arms forwards, towards the tree, pressing 
one of his feet against her body. lole, sitting low between her and the tree, leans her 
left shoulder against it, with her head coining forward, and her hand on her face, 
having a drapery in her lap. On the left side, without the piece, at the end of the 
fore-ground, I place two nymphs; one with her legs in the water, and resting on 
her right elbow, and holding her chin, and with the other hand under her right arm ; 
the other sitting with her legs behind the former in the water, and resting with her 
right arm on a vase, and her face and right breast in front: they are both naked and 
winged. Near these stands a third, holding a long staff, on the top whereof is a pine- 
apple; she has, about her, a wild beast's skin, and points with her right hand for- 
ward ; in which position her right side is seen. Behind her, on the aforesaid stone, 
lies Dryope's garment ; and on the same side forwards rises a large tree, incumbered 
with v\ ild bushes and sprigs. 

The light 1 take, as in the former, from the right side a little fronting; for, were it 
a left one, it would not so commodiously bring the light parts together in a group • 
and the rather, as the piece is a fellow of the former. 

27$ Of Landscapes. 

I represent then the expiring Dryope bare almost in the middle, by the dropping 
ber under garment ; which, as in the former, is yellowish-white. Her face and breast 
retain their fleshiness andjcolour, but her body downwards grows darkerand browner, 
like wood-colour, till at last it is perfectly woody; as happens also to her arms, 
which to the elbows have their former colour, but at the fingers are woody and 
branched. Her face to the chin, with that of Andreemon to the shoulder, is in the 
shade of the greens of her head and arms. Andrtemon, as a man of repute, has a short 
greenish grey coloured coat, embroidered with gold; his upper garment is reddish 
purple, dark and warm ; and his legs up to the hips are in the shade of the tree. The 
old man is dressed after the Persian manner, in a gown reaching to the calves of his 
less, of a light fillemot colour, with large violet stripes and gold leaves ; his upper 
garment, sleeved and quite open, is beautiful violet; he has shoes and wide stock- 
ings; his cap, like a turban, curling on top, lies with his staff at his feet ; and his 
hair is grey. The nymph by his side is half shaded by him ; that is, her whole right 
side, from the shoulder downwards, except her knee, which she advances; her vest- 
ment is greenish bine, inclining somewhat to dark. The nymph with the child has 
an airy blue garment, girt about the middle ; her right shoulder is bare, and the 
flappet of her garment ruffled about her legs by means of the wind. The virgin be 
hind her, and between the tree Lotos, has a white garment. The term between the 
trees is by them mostly shaded ; and off from it, passing by the point of sight, the 
major part is filled up with small trees, which are dark or in shade, and brightly set- 
ting oft' the foremost group. 

The two naked nymphs, on the left side, receive little light. The air on the hori- 
zon is full of vapours and melting; because I do not give here the sun so bright and 
clear as in a fine morning, nor so strong as at mid-day, but more or less vapourish, and 
therefore the whole appears of a russet colour. The eloudsare large, thick, and heavy. 

The sky might also be properly enriched, by exhibiting in it the three Parcce, or 
Fatal Sisters; since, having done their business, they are again ascending. In such 
case Atropos, with the thread and scissors, ought to be foremost ; next to her Lache- 
sis with the spindle; and behind her Clotho with the distaff. 

Let us now exhibit Andrannon and his family's return home, iu 

A Third Composition of Dryope. — See Plate LV. 
The late Dryope, after her fate, stands, with the tree Lotos, at the end of the fore- 
ground. A little to the right of the point of sight, and from her to the left side, ap- 
pears a bending way, like a crescent, coming forward ; against which the water from 
the right side, about three feet lower, is washing. Quite forwards, against the shore, 
lies a passage-boat. On the right side, without the picture, I represent a piece of \ ery 
high ground, running towards the point of sight. At the bottom of this ground, and 

Pla/s LV 

f.t£'lj<zzre//& trw , 

J. tizs-rft'sAam jatfo. 

Of Landscapes. 279 

almost level with the water, runs a path, edited with some watry trees ; and even B< 
of lliem in the water. The second ground rises hill-like, against the distance, efep< 
cially on the right side, from whence to the left side, through the hollow of the roc.\ 
is seen a more remote distance. Behind this hill or height appears the beautiful tOj 
of Andrccnam'* house. 

1 believe it will not seem strange to the well informed, that I introduce so much 
high ground and water about so small a spot of low land, because the poet lays the 
fact in a lake ; for which reason, and in order naturally to shew it, I exhibit that 
corner, with the way crescent-like, as being but a part of the lake. 

The question is now, W hether a painter may not take some liberty for decorum's 
sake? I answer, he may, so far as not to take away the property of the subject; for 
what the writer lays down must pass for a law; wherefore we may well conclude, 
that Ovid does not say any thing without reason. Some may possibly think I could 
have made a more delightful choice: but, it may be observed, that this fact is of a 
contrary nature ; 1 seek not for pleasure in the midst of sorrow, which here is my 
principal scope, as may appear by what follows. 

In the path on the right side I represent some bacchanals and satyrs trooping to- 
wards the hills. Among them, one is carrying a Priupus term on his shoulder, with 
a large vessel in his other hand, and followed by tigers and panthers. As for the 
transformed Dryope, I let her under garment, of the colour before said, hang on 
the tree : near which stand three nymphs ; of whom one embraces it with both hands 
as if she would shake it; at the same time looking upwards at the leaves. The two 
others are talking together ; the one pointing forward at the sorrow fid relations, who 
are departing. I place lole forward, by the boat, with her sister's garment and a 
basket of flowers in her hand; which, weeping, she gives to the waterman. An- 
drcemon, coming a step further, has his son Amphisus on his left arm, wrapped in his 
garment; he is speaking to the waterman, and shewing him the place whither he 
would be carried. Behind him follows the father; who, fixing his eyes towards 
heaven on the Hesperus, or evening star, seems to complain of the unhappy fate of 
his daughter. 

I shall now fully describe the figures, and their actions, and dresses, and other ne- 
cessary circumstances. 

The boat, tied to a post, lies somewhat sideways and fore-shortened. The water- 
man's right side is fronting, inclining to the land, with his back directly in the light ; 
he receives with extended arms the garment and basket of flowers which lole gives 
him. His vestment is light grey, girt with a large black girdle, which is buckled ; his 
right shoulder is bare almost to the middle. lole appears with her left side fore-right, 
and her breast swaying towards him ; giving him the basket of flowers with her right 
band, on the arm whereof hangs her sister's garment; her under parts are fronting, 


Of Landscapes. 

and her feet close, with knees a little bent ; she turns her head to the left, wiping her 
eyes with a rlappet of the veil which slie has about her neck. Andrcemon, with the 
little Amphisus in his arms, stands on one leg, and is stepping towards the boat ; his 
upper parts turn to the left, his breast fronting, and his right arm put out sideways, in 
order to shew the waterman, as has been said, the place he would be carried to; the 
purple garment is fastened on his right shoulder, and from under his arm, slinging 
about his body, he thereby partly covers the child ; and with another flappet of the 
same, which he has in his left hand, he supports and holds the child on his rising hip 
against his left breast. The child holds him fast about the neck, with its left hand 
in the opening of his under garment, leaning back with its upper parts from him, and 
holding up in the right hand a garland of flowers, at which it stares to the right side ; 
one of its feet is seen hanging down between the folds of the garment, and touches 
the hilt of its father's sword. The old man, who follows him, has his back turned 
low ards the point of sight, and seems to fall back with concern ; his face is towards 
heaven ; his right leg is put forward : and his left, whereon he stands, drawn some- 
what back ; his right arm is crossing his body ; and in that hand he holds his staff 
against his left breast; and thrusting out his left hand he points at the sorrowful 
father and motherless child who are before him, and in this posture seems to make 
his complaint to Hesperus. The tree with the nymphs, and what else rises on that 
ground, shine in the water ; as does also what is standing along the water on the 
right side. Andrcemon with the child is, to his breast, parallel with the horizon ; be- 
cause the ground rises forward, and is level with the boat. 

1 have largely treated these three compositions, to shew that landscape-painters 
want not matter for ornamenting their works with histories or fables proper to the 
landscape. These things are also of use to history-painters, for representing rich- 
ness of matter in poor occurrences. Wherefore, to be copious, and further instruc- 
tive, I shall state one fable more, as also a design of my own: and then, for the con- 
clusion of landscapes, make a comparison between what is painter and un-painter 
like; the latter whereof is, by ignorants, commonly called the contrary. 


table or ordonnance of erisiciiton; and the emblem of a 
satyr's Punishment: both serving for the embellishment 
of landscapes. 

Ovid relates that Erisichton, a very vile man, was, by the goddess Ceres, whom he 
had highly offended by cutting down an exceeding high oak-tree, consecrated to her, 
punished with insatiate hunger; insomuch, that, for want of food, he was obliged to 
sell his own daughter. — See Plate LVI. 

r/«K liv. 

Of Landscapes. 281 

I represent this in a delightful landscape, or without-door prospect. The light 
conies from the light side; and the point of sight is in the middle. On the left side 
I exhibit a stately building, with a beautiful frontispiece, of the Doric order, as- 
cended by three steps running towards the point of sight. Beyond the steps I place 
a hand-rail, four feet in rise, running from the house by the point of sight. In the 
return of it stands a vase. On the right side is a river, with a wooden bridge over 
it. By the water-side appears part of a town-wall, which the water washes and runs 
round. The residue is a distance, here and there planted with trees. Next. 
the hand-rail I place the hungry Erisichton; who, with his cap in his left 
hand, is tumbling his told money into it with his right hand. His daughter Mestre 
Stands behind him, near the steps; and the merchant stepping up shews her the 
door, with his right hand, wherein he has a bag half full of money ; at the same time 
holding her with his left, by a loose part of her garment. Lean Hunger behind, 
between her and her father's right side, pushes her forwards with both hands 
This is the main of the subject. 

The merchant looking proudly and gravely at the daughter, is dressed in a fine 
violet-coloured garment, reaching just below the knees ; it is girt about his middle ; 
he has a fillet about his head, and he is loosely stockinged and sheed, according to 
the Spartan custom: he is seem mostly from behind, resting with his right foot on 
the upper step, and drawing up the left from off the middle one. The daughter 
stands on her right leg, with her left foot just on the lower step, a little drawn back ; 
her under parts are almost fronting more or less from the light, she sways her upper 
parts to the right, wishfully looking at her father, whom she is unwilling to leave: 
witli .sorrow and tears she seems to move the merchant's pity, and to follow him 
against her will ; she has a handkerchief in her right band, with which, up at the left 
ear, she seems to wipe her face, supporting the elbow of that arm with her other 
hand. Her garment is pale yellow, with green reflections, and being slovenly ga- 
thered under the breast and tied with a ribbon, hangs in tatters below the calfs of 
her legs; she is bare-footed, has a beautiful mien, yet is somewhat thin ; her hair is 
light, twisted with small blue ribbons. Erisichton stands quite stooping, Avith bent 
knees ; his garment tied about the middle with a rope is fillemot, and reaches be- 
hind to the calfs of his legs, being so open on the side as to discover his bare hip and 
leg ; his left shoulder is also naked, his hair and beard grey, and he is lean and 
swarthy : his stick stands against the hand-rail. As for hunger, Ovid describes him 
thus — With frightful hair, eyes sunk in, mouth and lips livid, teeth yellow and slimy, 
and a thick skin discovering the bones and entrails : he is seen almost to the middle 
above the back of Erisichton. The pillars of the frontispiece are grey, the house 
and steps free-stone, and the pavement of the door is of large blue stone; and from 

vol. I. 2 o 

282 Of Landscapes. 

thence down to the river, the ground is plain. In the front of the house are carved 
two copies. The vase is of a reddish stone. On the left side of it, behind 
the hand-rail, rises a great spreading tree in full verdure, which gives a large shade 
against the house; the stem of it is encompassed with ivy and other greeW, which 
takes away the light of the oft-scape between it and the vase, together with the sharp- 
ness of the hand-rail, against which the daughter is brightly set oft' with decorum. 
Against the wing of the house, without the hand-rail, I shew a vine. At the door 
waits a young servant. Quite forward in the left corner stands a watchful dog, tied 
with a chain, and barking. 

In this representation I have had an eye to three principal circumstances ; indi- 
gency, necessaries of life, and opportunity. Indigency seeks relief where it is to be 
had ; if not in town, elsewhere; wherefore, I represent necessity in both father and 
daughter, coming for relief to the substantial man's country seat, who lives in plenty. 
The further circumstances, as the bridge, town, and horns of plenty, explain them- 

I do not place lean hunger near Erisichton, contrary to what I have formerly said, 
namely, That, when a passion can be expressed in the person himself, we have no 
need of an emblematic figure to make it known: hunger is placed here for two rea- 
sons : first, because want cannot be perfectly expressed here in its full force, through 
a present intermixture with something else; as, the happiness of having found the 
means whereby to relieve it ; to wit, the money. Secondly, because Erisichton is 
not so naked, that his consumed body, according to the poet, can be shewed as oc- 
casion requires. 

The reason of my putting in the dog, is not only for the enrichment of the dispo- 
sition, but also to shew, that he who possesses much wealth, should likewise watch 
it. Moreover, it is usual for the country people, but chiefly men of substance, to 
keep those creatures as well for pleasure as use. 

This fable is seldom seen in painting or exhibited in a print otherwise than in Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, and that in so simple a manner, that without the explanation under 
it, it is scarcely intelligible: for, what can be inferred from an old meagre man's re- 
ceiving a purse of money from a gentleman, with a young woman appearing between 
them? How can the inequality between riches and poverty be conspicuous, when 
they are as like in dress as if they were brother and sister; and this in a landscape, 
or the middle of a field, where is neither house, nor other token of their habitation? 

The conclusion of a story is not all that is necessary to be read, we ought to know 
the origin, the fact and sequel of it. First, it is necessary to know the man and who 
Erisichton and his daughter were, to express this naturally in their persons and 
dresses. Secondly, we should know by whom they are punished, and in what man- 
ner : and lastly, by whom, and by what means made easy. After a full inquiry into 

Of Landscapes. 283 

these particulars, it is then time to consider how to represent them ■with all their cir- 
cumstances, most naturally; such as the place, &c. After which, the enrichments 
and diminutions will follow of themselves. We may at least conceive, that they who 
will not study the point, cannot go such lengths as to perform so small a story as 
this, much less one of greater dignity, in a natural and judicious maimer, 

1 shall now, agreeable to my promise in the conclusion of the last chapter, give 
another embellishing example, in an emblem of my own invention, for the sake ot 
those who will not inure themselves to historians or poets, nor confine their free and 
rich thoughts to such a restriction. 

Street Repose disturbed by Lewdness. An Emblem. 

Here are seen three young nymphs of Diana's train, tired with hunting, reposing 
in the shade of the trees a little oft' from the road, an/3 near a foamy water; which 
some fauni and satyrs espying, they are resolved to have some sport with them. 
Wherefore, acquainting their associates with the matter, they silently advanced to- 
wards the place in a body ; bringing with them one of the largest Priapus terms they 
had, together with two panthers a vessel of wine, and some grapes. Being arrived, 
and seeing the nymphs almost naked, and fast asleep, they planted before the place 
the aforesaid hideous scare-crow ; and then softly stole their hunting equipage, as 
quivers, arrows, bows, &c. and hung them round its waist, fastening them with the 
straps, which they buckled. They moreover decked its head with one of the, 
nymph's veils, sticking their thyrses in the ground round about it, and adorning them 
-with vizors. Not stopping here, they seized as many of the virgins garments as they 
could, and tossed them upon the high limbs of an adjoining tree; and, to prevent 
the nymphs climbing up in order to regain, they tied the two panthers under the 
tree ; and after having set down the wine and grapes, pleased with the project, they 
covertly retired to a peeping place to wait the issue on the nymphs awaking. Each 
of the gang had brought with him his instrument, as, the double hautboy, cymbal, 
tabor, timbrel, &c. wherewith, because it was evening, and they might sleep too long, 
to beat up their quarters. But the plot soon miscarried, through an unexpected ac- 
cident; for another nymph, who was possibly seeking for her company, happened to 
arrive at the place, and seeing the panthers lying under the tree, and thinking they 
were wild, shot at them and killed one. The satyrs seeing this, came out of their 
lurking-hole, and pursued her, but she escaped by flight. They then concluded, 
they had waited long enough ; and observing that it grew late, and that the afore- 
said little bustle made the nymphs begin to stir, they in a full body of satyrs, Jaunt, 
bacchanals, even all the tribe of Bacchus, set up with their instruments so loud a 
noise, that the nymphs started up on a sudden ; and, full of fright, looked for their 
clothes: but being now thoroughly awaked, the term presented before them, with 
their hunting equipage hanging about it. This sight, but especially that of their 

2o '2 

284 Of Landscapes. 

clothes on the tree, much surprised them and pat them to the blush ; not knowing 
what course to take in the exigence. Not one durst approach the block in order to 
take her weapons. The vile crew all this while kept concealed, laughing- at them 
unobserved. The distressed nymphs perceiving nobody near them, run to and fro, 
considering how to get their clothes again ; but on their approach to the tree the pan- 
ther arose, making so great a noise that they knew not whither to run. Cries and la- 
mentations here were useless : they above a hundred times invoked the aid of Diana;. 
yet in vain. The eldest, named Cleobis, at last took courage, and went up to the term, 
with intention to get the veil from it to cover Carile, who was naked ; saying — Ah! 
why are we such fools to be thus scared, and only by a wooden block ? Why are we 
ashamed ? Somebody has certainly been here ; but now the coast is clear, I am re- 
solved to throw it down. Come, sisters, and boldly give a helping hand. — But she 
had no sooner uttered these words, but all the gang appeared, mocking, scoffing, and 
hooting : any one may determine who was on that overture most dashed and con- 
cerned. A little satyr shot at the term, and took the quivers from it, shewing the 
nymphs the unseemly statue, with a hearty laughter. This (but especially when 
other scoffers shewed them the clothes on the tree) highly provoked them. To take 
to flight was not adviseable ; one pushed them this way, another that way. During 
this game, a noise of cornets was heard, which suddenly put an end to the laughter ; 
each made off, leaving all things as they stood. The term of Priapus fell to the 
"round, and the panther at the tree endeavoured to get loose. Now, Diana appears, 
attended by her train of nymphs, who shot their arrows at the lewd crew ; the dogs, 
at the same time, tearing the panther to pieces. The fearful nymphs appeared much 
ashamed, and prostrated themselves at the feet of the goddess ; to whom they related 
their misfortunes; and the affront put upon them by the gang of satyrs ; shewing her, 
at the same time, the term, the vizors, their clothes on the tree, and what eL?e was 
done in despite to them. The goddess, to shew her resentment, gave immediate 
order to pursue the rioters, and would not enlighten the night till she had revenged 
the insolence. Some accordingly made towards the woods, others to the brooks> 
and the residue took the field : in a little time, part of them were made captives ; for 
of the three who pursued the nymph for shooting the panther, one was caught in the 
net, and five others, together with a bacchanal, were hawled before Diana in irons ; 
whom she sentenced to be tied, two and two together by the feet, and whipped by the 
three affronted nymphs with thorns and holm-leaves so severely, as almost to kill them. 
Three others she judged to be hung by their tails on the limbs of trees, with their heads 
just touching the ground. Not yet appeased, she caused him who was taken in 
the net to be therein plunged into the water, by two or three nymphs, till he was just 
expiring, and the water came out of his mouth. The bacchanal must see all this, on 
whom was bestowed a hunting knife, wherewith if she thought fit, to release the do- 

Of Landscapes. 2SJ> 

linquents, to cut off their tails: which after much reluctance, she was at last pn- 
vailed upon to do; and then, tying their bands behind them, Diana said — Go now. 
and shew yourselves to the rest of your wanton gang, and nil them, that thus I 
will punish all those who dare to uiock the chaste Diana and her retinue. 

Is nut this now, though a feigned story, matter sufficient to furnish many land- 
scapes? The landscape-painter ought to observe here a representation of different 
passions ; bashfulness in the nymphs ; wanton joy in the satyrs ; severity and rest nt- 
mciit in the goddess, and distress in the insoleuts. 

You see here the alluring pleasure of committing a crime, and the bashfulness and 
distress of those who suffer the evil 5 but at the same time, the grevious consequences, 
and punishment attending wickedness and insolence. In fine, the sweets and pun- 
ishment of evil, and the reward and unexpected relief of \irtue. 

Can it be denied, that such a representation in landscape will not generally please 2 
Surely it is not impossible to make other such designs. On which occasion, I hope 
it will not be tiresome to the reader, if I now shew what is understood by the word 
(painter-like) as a very necessary point for a landscape painter. 



J. here is scarcely anything in the world which is not liable to a good or bad con*- 
struction ; and judgment alone chuses in all things a medium, out of these two 
contrarieties, which is certainly the most beautiful aud best. This is an especial 
truth in tl*e art of painting; which has such a power as to affect people two diffe- 
rent ways : first, by virtuous and agreeable representations ; and r in the next place, 
by those which are mean, mis-shapen, and contemptible ; both equally efficacious 
in contrariety. The former recreates and charms a judicious eye, and the latter is 
its aversion. It is therefore indisputable, that the painter-like, or most beautiful 
choice, implies nothing else than what is worthy to be painted ; and that the most 
mean, or what is not beautiful, least deserves that honour: as for. instance, suppose 
there were brought before me a basket of ripe, unripe, and rotten fruits, mixed to- 
gether; I must, having my judgment, chuse the most relishing, or those which 
appear most beautiful to the eye, and reject the rest. 

A landscape, adorned with sound and straight grown trees, round bodied and finely 
leafed, spacious and even grounds, with gentle ups and downs, clear and still 
rivers, delightful vistos, well arranged colours, and an agreeable blue sky, with 
some small driving clouds; also elegant fountains, magnificent houses and palaces, 
disposed according to the rules of architecture, and richly ornamented; likewise r 
well-shaped people agreeable in their action ; and each coloured and draperied ac- 

286 Of Landscapes: 

cording to his quality ; together with cows, sheep, and other well-fed cattle. All 
these, I say, may claim the title of painter-like : but a piece with deformed trees, 
widely branched and leafed, and disorderly spreading from east towards west, 
crooked bodied, old and rent, full of knots and holLowness; also rugged grounds 
without roads or ways, sharp hills, and monstrous mountains filling the distance, 
rough or ruined buildings with their parts lying up and down in confusion ; like- 
wise muddy brooks, a gloomy sky, abounding with heavy clouds ; the field furnish- 
ed with lean cattle and vagabonds of gypsies : such a piece, I say, is not to be 
called a fine landscape. Can any one, without reason, assert him to be a painter- 
like object, who appears as a lame and dirty beggar, clothed in rags, splay-footed, 
bound about the head with a nasty clout, having a skin as yellow as a baked pud- 
ding ; or in fine, any such paltry figure? Would you not rather conclude such 
things to be the jest of a painter? 

For my part, I believe that the difference between the fine and the ugly, is too 
great not to make a distinction between them. I am well pleased, that some call 
the works of Bamboccio, Brouwer, and Moller, and the landscapes of Brueghel, 
Bril, Bloemart, Savry, Berchem, and such masters, painter-like : but I oppose to 
them, Raphael, Correggio, Poussin, Le Brim, &c. and, in landscape, Albano, 
Genouille, Poussin, the German Polydorc, and such as follow them in their choices. 

On this occasion, I shall, before I conclude, also consider the word designer-like, 
a word which is as much perverted as the other : for instance ; crooked trees abound- 
ing with knots and hollownesses, rugged clods of earth, broken and sharp rocks, 
human bodies robustly and roughly muscled in Michael Angelas manner, faces 
large featured, long nosed, wide mouthed, hollow eyed like Testa's. These objects 
we have extolled for designer-like, though as absurdly and improperly, as it is to 
fetch light out of darkness, and virtue from vice. 

The masters therefore are very imprudent, who encourage their disciples to seek 
and draw in so troublesome a way, after such objects, as tending to nothing else 
than learning them to make outlines. Do they not chuse a round-about-way to 
bring them into the right path ? Nay, how many die in the pursuit, who, had they 
taken the other way, might easily have got through? Wherefore, it is more ad- 
visable to draw after the beautiful and sedate simplicity and greatness of Ra- 
phael, Poussin, and other excellent masters, than after any of those other paltry 
and mis-shapen objects. This must be admitted, that if the bad and deformed 
be painter or designer-like, the beautiful is not so, the case admits of no altern- 
ation ; and consequently the worst must be best, and the best worst. If both be 
good, there is no room for choice ; and you may at that rate mingle beauty with 
deformity, joy with sorrow, ripeness with unripeness, gods with beggars : but 
«ince beauty is attracting, and deformity offensive, this certainly is true painter- 

Of Landscapes. 287 

like, which supposes the best and most agreeable objects ; which alone ought to be 
called so, and sought for. 

Yet there are occasions, wherein both must be observed ; either that the story 
requires ii, or that, by means of deformity, we are to set off what is beautiful, 
and make it predominate: but then the painter who understands beauty, may 
more easily abate, than the other exalt himself above his knowledge and capacity. 
Wherefore I conclude, that beautiful nature is the best choice, and the most 

I shall now for the benefit of such artists as are not rich in invention, give a com- 
pendious description of a variety of objects in a fictitious view. 



JLhe day was almost shui in, and the agreeable western sun giving long and charm- 
ing ground-shades, when I purposed to divert myself with a walk ; not. without. 
reflecting, how many tine observables are overlooked, which if treated according 
to rule, would be of service: a carelessness often proceeding from too superficial 
and groundless a method of study, which will not permit the thoughts to fix on 
things of most importance. 

Jn my walk, I came into an agreeable country, seeming the seat of blessed souls, 
whiie nothing was wanting which could tend to the repose of the mind ; every 
thing was beautiful and orderly. Blind chance had no hand in this; I could 
plainly perceive with what ardour and pleasure nature and art had mutually be- 
stowed their benefits upon it. The roads or passages were so neat and level, that 
in walking you hardly seemed to touch the ground. A sweet and refreshing wind 
reigned there ; which so allayed the sun's heat as to make it indifferent whether 
you sat in it, or in the shade : the rich leafed trees, as beautiful in their stems as 
their greens, moved almost insensibly ; when the young and tender sprouts, as yet 
but thinly leaved, caressed by the mild and gentle air, seemed to rejoice the silver 
leaves by a sweet motion, glittering like medals: the sky was fine blue, losing 
gradually in thin air towards the horizon : the small clouds not violently driving 
this way and that, moved slowly and quietly till they got out of sight. The white 
swans beheld themselves in the clear brooks, freely winding and turning without 
feeling whether with or against the stream. 

In this delightful region, I found a very beautiful fountain, the bason of which 
was of white marble, furnished towards the road with rocky bowls and cavities 
to receive the water; the figures standing upon it were most elegantly chosen: 

288 Qf Landscapes. 

round it stood low and close May-trees, against the green whereof, the white 
marble was magnificently, yet modestly set off; causing thus a pleasing mixture in 
its shade. 

From thence, 1 took to the right hand, along a level and broad way, on both 
sides faced with a parapet of free-stone, wherein stood forwards two large vases 
of flesh-coloured marble, in shape and ornament like those in the Farnese garden ; 
wide on top and without covers, but instead of an Iphigenia, the faint carving 
consisted of dancing women. These vases had a wonderful fine sweep, the figures 
were orderly disposed, and in all parts alike and moderately filled with work; 
and because the bas relief arose so little, the whole appeared as yet fresh and un- 

The parapet was built after the Doric order, and its pannels were adorned with 
foliage and branch-work, twined with reeds. 

The end of it let me into a wide sandy road, on the left side bordered with a gen- 
tle flowing river, and on the right, with fine and large trees ; along the brink of this 
river were planted only grey and whitish willows, not all alike straight and large, 
but some leaning over the water, others branched and leaved, others again, thin 
and young, discovering the glitter of the water : on the right side where the road 
run high, stood, as I say, large and heavy trees of various kinds, such as oak, 
ash, lime, wild olive, pine, cypress, &c. Some with straight stems, round tops, 
swaying branches, and fine greens ; between which, some tender suckers with their 
small and upright stalks and airy leaves afforded an inexpressible elegant variety. 
The brown cypresses laden with their fruit, added no small lustre to the green of 
the other trees, to my great delight. Under these trees grew some wild simples, 
and various kinds of large and small leaved plants intermixed with thistles and 
thorns in an agreeable and most painter-like manner. These under-growths, but 
especially the grass on the sides, were in many places dusted by the road ; which, 
by their nuion, caused a charming decorum. 

At proper distances, along both sides of the road, were placed for the ease of 
travellers, some low free-stone seats, in the form of a long and narrow architrave, 
supported by two square pillars. 

Going on I came to a cross-way, where I found a term, or guide set up. Here, 
not to go wrong, I was at a stand which way to take : in this doubt I recollected, 
that those guides have commonly their faces towards the way strangers and travel- 
lers ought to go. This term, was down to the lower belly, like a man, yet very 
musculons, and the head resembled that of a satyr, and guarded with two large 
crooked rain's horns ; it stood in a gap between some large trees, half shaded with 
Laves and ivy ; it seemed to be made of marble, but very much be-dripped and 
fouled with green liquor, A little from it I saw, on a white inarble plinth, a do- 

Of Landscapes. 289 

cinnbrnt statue of a naked nymph, resting- with her elbow on a vase shedding water, 
which, flowing- down the plinth below the way, which was then: a little rocky, run 
into the river : this figure was very agreeable. I wondered at first, since it stood 
not far from, and lower than the term, that yet it was much cleaner, thinking that 
in such a place it could not well maintain its beauty and whiteness ; hut my wonder 
ceased on perceiving that there were no high trees over it, hut that it had a free air: 
another reason was, that being so low as to be reached over it, possibly some drafts- 
man had been at the place, and wiped it clean: on such a conjecture, I took some 
water out of the vase into my hand, and rubbed a part of the shoulder, which con- 
firmed my suspicion, for I discovered that some parts were already become smooth 
and glossy, by being handled and rubbed. 

Stepping- a little further, I saw another sight as fine as the former ; I say fine, 
with respect to art. It was an ancient tomb or sepulchre of light red marble, inter- 
mixed with dark grey, and white eyes and veins, with a lid or cover of lapiz lazuli. 
This tomb was supported by four white marble sphinxes without wings, resting on 
a large black marble plinth, which, through its dustiness, seemed to be lightish 
grey. The ground under it was rugged, yet level for three or four feet round the 
plinth. This work was generally encompassed with sand extending to the sea- 
shore, which it faced ; and, ten or twelve steps further, the sea was seen foaming, 
In the middle of the belly of the tomb was a round bass-relief within a compart- 
ment of oak leaves ; it exhibited a flying eagle, with thunder in its bill ; whence I 
conjectured it might be Phceton's grave ; and the rather, because there stood near 
the corners three very old and large cypresses; of which the hindmost was as yet 
whole and sound ; but the forward ones, by weather or otherwise, so damaged, 
that one had lost its top, and the other was on one side half uubranched and bare. 
Behind this tomb stood a large pedestal of greyish-blue stone, on which had for- 
merly, as it seemed, been set an urn, now flung down, and lying near it half buried 
in the ground ; it was somewhat broken and damaged : I could make but little of 
the carving upon it, since that was underneath, and the ear or handle of the urn lay 
upwards; wherefore, in order to see what it was, I began to clear the ground away 
from it ; but had hardly dug a foot deep, before I perceived a piece of a chariot, and 
half a wheel in the shape of a star ; this, I thought, must be the chariot of the sun, 
as being not much unlike it. 

This work thus seeming old, and yet the tomb with all its ornaments as new as if 
just set up, I thought it must have owed its preservation to some heavenly influence. 
I was so entertained with viewing it on all sides, that I was wholly taken up with 
it ; without reflecting, that as fortune favoured me, I ought to hasteu to other 
things of consequence before it grew too late ; yet I resolved, though I stayed all 

vol. i. 2p 

290 Of Landscapes. 

night, not to leave the delicious place before I had exactly designed in my pocket- 
book every thing- remarkable in it. 1 then went ten or twelve steps forwards from 
it, in order to huve a full view of every thing thereabouts ; and, sitting down, there 
opened a perfect ordonnance ; for, on seeing the trees behind and on one side of the 
decumbent nymph, and, on the other side, an easy ascent, with a small cottage in a 
low ground behind it, I could not but observe how elegant and becoming all the by- 
works kept themselves : the trees behind the tomb appeared dark, and thereby 
flung it off strong and brightly, the objects on each side appearing faint. Fur- 
ther on I discovered a small bridge ; and, in the offscape, some hills, &c. all 
which I presently sketched and shaded : marking, for shortness of time, with 
letters or figures, the colours of the stones, and their tints, together with the light- 
ness and darkness of one object against another, and also against the sky. 

Having done with this, and walking further on the right hand, I came to a very 
large and weighty bridge, of one arch, which had an exceeding great span, ending, 
in the crown, in a point. This opening discovered an even plain, reaching almost to 
the horizon, with cottages and houses here and there, in a village-like manner : 
they were not meanly boarded and plastered like ours, but regularly built with 
stone, though plain and without ornament. This bridge came from behind the 
trees on the right hand, and preserved a communication over the road with a high 
and large rock on the sea-shore : it was possibly placed here for the sake of a dry 
passage to the other side in case of floods. 

Going under this arch, I found myself in the open field, near another sort of 
common buildings, which, at a distance, 1 could not perceive, on account of some 
intervening trees. These were herdsmen's habitations, and built with mean ma- 
terials, yet in a fine manner with respect to art. Some stood on ground-sills, others 
went up two or three steps, but the generality of them had their entrances even with 
the ground. Some had square doors, with circular windows over them ; or else 
round frames, stuck instead of bass-relief, with rams, ox, or goats' sculls, cut in 
white stone, according to the condition of the inhabitant. The lower windows were 
in form like the doors, and a diameter and half higher than wide ; or else twice the 
breadth in height. The upper windows of such as had two stories or small garrets 
were mostly round. Some but single-storied had compass-headed door-ways ; and 
over them long octangular windows ; and if any smaller over them, they were 
square. The roofs were generally flatfish, and tiled for bringing off the water for- 
wards. Some, in my opinion, much excelled others in grace ; having, over the 
door-ways, small balconies with compass-doors into them, and the windows on each 
side square and equally high ; and over them round ones again. On each side of 
the aforesaid doors or entrances, were made, in the walls, square vent holes, like 
niches contracting inwardly, and cross-barred with iron. The pediments were 

Of Landscapes. 291 

Doric or Ionic, aud of whitish stones ; the lower story grey, and the rest free- 
stone ; some were painted light-reddish, others white free-stone or grey. Some 
doors had pillars or seats on each side. Some houses I saw also joined with walls, 
wherein were round holes. Here and there appeared large gates, as of neat houses : 
one was open, and seemed to be like a place covered in ; most of the windows had 
wooden shutters, which hinged on top, and kept open by sticks. Those houses, 
to secure them from the overflow of the river running in the neighbourhood, stood 
much above the level of the way. In fine, I omitted nothing remarkable relating to 
these country people's manner of dwelling. 

Somewhat further, and without this village, I came up to a round temple, having 
a lofty and elegant frontispiece. It was ascended by a flight of ten or twelve steps, 
with a free-stone ballustrade on each side, adorned with two sphinxes, facing each 
other, which were headed with caps, and bodied with housings or coverings after 
the antique manner. Landing on these steps I came up to a portico, fronted with 
eight columns, entablature and pediment of the Ionic order ; the pediment had a 
fine entire bass-relief, not much rising. The columns were continued round the 
temple, two and two together, resting plinths and basements. 

Over their ornaments ran a gallery, divided into parts by pedestals, whereon 
stood fine statues, one answering each pillar. Behind the ballustrade of the gal- 
lery ran up pilasters of the Corinthian order, two and two together, and between 
them large windows, finely wrought according to that order, as was the frieze and 
cornice with grave foliage, modillions, &c. On this arose an open dome, inclosed 
with a close ballustrade, covered in with a compass-roof, whereon was set a sun. 

Though I was not much conversant with architecture, yet I perceived a very 
regular disposition in this building, which, among these adjoining, also orderly 
and beautiful, loftily and magnificently distinguished itself; appearing like a pre- 
cious stone set in enamel, though neither had other ornaments than simply those 
of the order. The contiguous houses were low and extensive, with high chimnies 
or towers, yielding, in my opinion, a fine decorum. Behind these stood a close 
plantation of trees, mostly pines and cypresses, which added no small lustre to all 
this stone-work. On each side of the before-mentioned steps was a fountain or 
square bason, adorned with two pretty large lionesses couching on pedestals, and 
spouting water. 

Thus I fancied I saw this glorious, lofty, and especially painter-like sight. When 
we come to treat of architecture, and the choice of beauty within doors, I shall be 
at the trouble of stepping into this temple to describe its inward wonders. 

Oh! how comfortable is the shore after a tempest! What a difference is there be- 
tween a lovely sun-shine and a gloomy night ! Between fresh and lively youth, and 

2 p 2 

292 Of Landscapes. 

dry old age! Love solaces in gardens of pleasure and beautiful palaces; but envy 
lurk* in desolate wildernesses, among the rubbish of ihings which it has defaced. 
Abandon t' en, true a id young artists! your blind zeal ; beauty does not triumph, 
nor is here attended with what is deformed, spoiled, fouled, or broken, but takes up 
with things simple, or less beautiful without defects. Wherefore I think, that these 
two kinds of beauty differ as much as the verdant and delightful summer, and the 
dry and barren winter. Who, in building for pleasure, would make a patch ? Or, 
in making a garden, fill it with half-rotten trees? He must be an unaccountable 
man who seeks delight in a desolate wilderness. Is it not then evident, that those 
men have vicious tastes who endeavour to fetch beauty out of deformity? A prin- 
cess sufficiently shines among her ladies by her state and costly attire, without set- 
ting off her lustre by a comparison with a swine-herd. When we meet with fine 
marble statues, are they not preserved with care from ill usage, and the injuries of 
time ; though the latter spares nothing? For, 

Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi seel scepe cadendo. 

But probability ought to be observed in all things, that we need not enquire what 
is modern or ancient, without being therefore broken or over foul ; since stones 
much haiv led will become smooth, yet without damage; and, Why should a man 
be made a judge of what is beautiful and fine, who came from a foreign and wild 
country, and never saw beauty ? 

In opposition to true beauty, let us now represeut the other sort, and leave the 
point to the determination of the judicious. 



V^hanging the scene, we shall now consider what is also, though unjustly, called 
painter-like ; and this in an imaginary way, like the preceding. 

In walking,* I saw a large gate, the door whereof was broken to pieces by an 
huge oak blown down against it. Creeping through it, I found myself as in a 
strange country, so very rugged, desolate, and rocky, without paths or roads, that I 
knew not where to walk ; the ground was no where so even as to rest on. Here I 
saw the fragment of a column ; yet, lying so obliquely, that I could not sit on it ; 

* This ridiade, painted so ably against the affectation of picturesque, must produce 
the most beneficial results in those who read it. — E. 

Of Landscapes. 293 

near it lay a piece of frieze and cornice, with an end sticking up ; and not much fur- 
ther was another stone, pretty level, but in a morass abounding with vermin. I 
nevertheless endeavoured to get upon this last stone ; and then, with my cloak 
under me, laid myself down upon it: which 1 had no sooner done, but somebody 
called — Hark ye ; go from it ; you lie in my way. I, not dreaming any person could 
be hi re, suddenly looked back with surprise, and saw a young man sitting on a 
hillock, who, as he said, was drawing after the stone I laid on. But, on recol- 
lection, he again called out, that, if I would stay there but half a quarter of 
an hour, 1 should do him a great favour. This I consented to, not without asking 
him, ^ hat he was going to do with such paltry fragments ? He answered, "They 
are the finest things in the world to introduce into our pieces. When 1 have such a 
fine parcel as that piece of a column, and this water before me, with the addition of 
a stump of a tree, and a small dark distance behind it, they, together, immediately 
compose a perfect ordonnance. Oh ! you cannot imagine how extraordinary and 
full of variety these objects are. This is the finest place on earth for a curious ar- 
tist ; all is painter like; every thing lies so loose, pretty, aud wild, that few good 
masters would refuse coming hither to design these wonders ; and nothing but the 
present high wind hinders their being here now." 

Upon this prattle 1 viewed him from top to toe; he sat all in a heap, with a 
board in his lap, and a small ink-horn, and a magnifying or spectacle glass in his 
hand : on his head he had a night-cap almost down to his eyes, with his left leg 
over his hat, possibly to save it from the wind; a small light coming from between 
the trees shone on his lap. Poor man! thought I, how feelingly you can talk 
of what is painter-like, aud what satisfaction you must find in those things: if 
there be any more artists of your stamp, this must be the place to find them in. 
The truth is, the more I viewed him and heard his talk, the more I blamed my 
own judgment for not discovering such beauties as he did. Now, perceiving he 
had done, I went towards him to see his work ; but before I could come up to him 
he had packed up his implements, and was gone another way. Behind the trees, 
near the place where he had been sitting, I found another spark, who stood and 
drew after a small rivulet full of big and little clods of earth and pebbles, which 
he neatly designed on drawing paper, and marked with their different colours. His 
whole port-folio was full of such painter-like trumpery; such as muddy water, de- 
cayed and broken stones, pieces of wood, barren shrubs and bushes, rough grounds, 
toads, snakes, &c. I asking him what branch he made his study? he answered, 
that he had not yet practised any ; but hoped, if he could get all those things, and 
perform them well, to become a good landscape-painter; '■ For," &aid he, " those 
objects are so uncommon, that the be*t masters give themselves the trouble to seek 
them. But," continued he, " I cannot but wonder, that some search here and in other 

294 Of Landscapes. 

places, and can scarce find a piece to their taste, nay, often return without doing 
any thing ; when I, on the contrary, discover a thousand things, both delightful and 
useful, whenever I cast my eyes. Were I to design every thing I meet with, I should 
have work for many years. Look there," said he, " yonder is one of that tribe pry- 
ing about ; I have not yet seen him sit down any where." I thought within myself, 
that it was strange any man should run about in an error in so wild and desolate a 

Going on, I came to a large and hideous rock, split through, and having one part 
hanging forward full of sharp angles, open hollows and cuts, over-run here and 
there with moss and barren shrubs. On the right side was a deep marshy valley, 
going off very steep, and on the left appeared an inaccessible ruined building, like 
an heap of stones, swarming with adders, snakes, and other venomous creatures. 
Behind me the ground was so uneven, rugged, and pathless, that I thought it im- 
possible to get from the place. On the point of returning back, I saw a man creep 
on all four out of one of the holes or hollows of the rock, and thereby cleared a 
passage for rue. This man told me what wonderful things were to be seen on the 
other side ; but I was scarce crept half through before I heard a frightful thunder- 
clap, which shook the whole rock ; wherefore, redoubling my speed, and being got 
through, I found that the top of the rock was'itumbled over the right side, which 
made me suddenly retire from thence, fearful that another part might fall upon me. 
What also raised my aversion, was the sight of a tomb crushed to pieces, and almost 
sunk into the ground, and near it lying a piece of a large trunk of white marble. 
I could perceive by the base that it had been a term ; and being curious to know 
what might be hidden behind it, I got on the tomb, and saw through the trees down- 
wards a frightful pool. I therefore took to the left, where I thought the ground was 
more level ; three or four steps from thence I saw a white paper fluttering before 
me along the ground, and after it a blue one, somewhat larger ; both which I ran 
after and took up. The blue paper appeared to be a drawing after the aforesaid 
tomb, when entire and standing, which made me judge that he must have been a 
good master who had thus improved it in the draught. Possibly, thought I, he is 
hereabouts. My conjecture was not groundless ; for, stepping a little further, I 
found the poor wretch lying under a large oak which had been thunder-struck ; the 
stem was cleft from top to bottom, and a large limb lay across the man's body: his 
port-folio lay near him, emptied of all his drawings. This sight affrighted me, and 
approaching near, I heard him sigh ; he, perceiving me, called out presently for 
help. I cleared the limb from off his body as well as I could, whereby, and after 
much pains, he disengaged himself from the leaves. He was, to my wonder, no 
where hurt, save a little in his left hand, yet of no consequence. I returned him 
his papers, and asked him, Whether he had seen the tomb in the condition wherein 

Of Landscapes. 295 

it was drawn ? He answered, He had. When, going to shew it to me, he in 
amazement started back on finding it in ruins. Oh ! says he, does this lie also tum- 
bled down, and my drawing scarce finished! We then went together farther up 
towards the left, and regained most of his papers. lie told me that his companion 
had left him, and run away on the approach of the storm ; which induced me to 
think, he was the person who came creeping on all-four through the aforesaid hole. 

On our coming down we found many already drawing after the broken tree under 
which the good man had lain, with the utmost application, It was their unanimous 
opinion, never to have seen a tree more painter-like. This talk surprised us both. 
He shewed them his drawing, and said, That the tomb was the only object he 
found entire thereabouts; and, this being demolished, there was nothing left to 
please him. But this they scoffed at, and answered him, that such things might 
easily be made out of one's head, or found in prints. 

In short, it was great diversion to me to see one as hotly clambering up one place, 
and another creeping through some hole, for the sake of designing the rock and 
tomb tumbled down, as if they were going after treasure. 

Taking leave of this person, I pursued my way ; but was obliged, for the sake of 
a ruinous fountain, the vases, mouldings, and other ornaments whereof lay across 
and stopped the way, to take to the right hand. On the remains, adorned with, 
bass-relief, I found not one entire figure, every thing being excessively mouldered, 
fouled, and over-run with wild plants and shrubs. Its bason lay awry, with a corner 
sunk into the ground, broken, and full of earth or mud. A boy, who had been sit- 
ting there, cameand asked me, Whether I could not tell him, which part of this heap 
of stones was the most painter-like? " I have been long making a choice," says he, 
'* of something good out of it, but the number confounds me; the parts are all so 
broken, that I cannot find so much as a whole hand or foot. I have, shewing me 
his drawing, pitched upon this among them, with much ado." I believe, verily, there 
was not such another undamaged bit in the whole ruin, though of little consequence. 
It was a plinth with the right leg and foot of Apollo, wanting the great toe. He said 
that he, with eight others, had been drawing every thing after the heap, except this 
fragment; the foot of which was not, according to their fancies, broken enough. I 
comforted him with saying, that he had picked out the very best thing of all, when 
he owned, that he had made the choice by the persuasion of another, who was now 
gone away, to whom the leg, by means of the sandal and straps, was not unknown. 
This boy, I thought, ought to be set in a right way ; and his simplicity pleased me. 

Turning then to the right hand, as I have said, I came into a dismal place, which, 
by the largeness of the pavement, and arch-work supported by great pillars, seemed 
formerly to have been a palace. 

It was here so lonesome and ghastly, that I was seized with a cold sweat; where- 

<2Q6 Of Landscapes. 

fore I mended my pace, in order to get out of it ; and, being got to the other side, 
and ten or twelve paces from it, I found myself again at the lake before-mentioned ; 
near which lay a shattered tomb, with the corpse half tumbled out. The head and 
one arm rested on a large root of a tree lying near it; the lid was almost slid off, and 
just on the totter, and a snake, from underneath, was creeping into the tomb. A 
sight frightful enough. 

The sun, now on the point of setting, darted his refulgent rays between some 
heavy clouds ; the sky was moreover dark blue, and on the horizon yellowish strip- 
ed ; which, along through the trees, strongly glittered in my eyes. I saw a grave 
man carefully desiging this sky in colours. In passing by, I said to him, " Sir, 
you have met with a fine sight ; that is a true Italian sky." Yes, says he, I am very 
sensible of it. 

Stepping further, I heard another thunder-clap ; and the tempest increased : which 
obliged him to pack up his tools, and go off, and made me resolve to be at home be- 
fore night. 

Now, I leave it to the judgment of the well informed and judicious amateurs to 
determine, which of my two representations is to be accounted painter-like? I have 
sufficiently expressed my sentiments touching them. But, it is to be lamented, that 
Tyros, in their youthful ardour, are infected with this poison, and made to believe, 
that in thunder and stormy weather, they must run abroad, to design such mis- 
chances and defects of nature, at the hazard of their healths and lives ; though not 
able to chuse out of them the most beautiful, for want of judgment to know what is 
good, and, by some additions, to supply defects. These things are the pastimes of 
great masters, but the chief study of the less intelligent. 

Be therefore, you who would succeed in the art ! not so intent in gaining your 
embellishments with so much trouble; and, slighting principals, think you can have 
them by heart. Such a method will rather lead you into doubts, than bring you to 

In order then to qualify the judgment, in making a good choice, recourse may al- 
ways be had to the remains of those great masters, Raphael, Poussin, and many 
others, to enlighten us by their illustrious examples. 


Printed by J. F. Dots, St. Jobn'e Square, London. 

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